Governments' attitudes toward the opposition parties in Turkish politics
Gencer, Oğuz (2011) Governments' attitudes toward the opposition parties in Turkish politics. [Thesis]
After World War II, Turkey adopted a multi-party system in which the opposition parties emerged as the new actors of politics. However, the recognition and internalization of these new actors had been a matter in many other countries as well as in Turkey. Unless the governing parties accept these opposition parties as necessary actors of the system, having cooperation and constructive conflict resolution processes regarding the conflicts between governing and opposition parties seems to be troublesome. In this respect, the party government experiences of the Democratic Party and Justice and Development Party are compared to observe the development of the attitudes of the governments toward the opposition parties. Coalition governments are also included in the study to investigate the difference between party and coalition governments toward the opposition parties. The speeches of the prime ministers of the above-mentioned governments are collected from the Turkish daily newspapers. These speeches are analyzed by conducting content analysis to reveal the attitudes of the prime ministers toward the opposition parties. Two significant results emerged from the content analysis of the speeches of the prime ministers. First, the prime ministers of the coalition governments presented less negative and more cooperative attitudes toward the opposition parties than prime ministers of the party governments. The second result is that the exclusionist and conflictual discourse of the prime ministers of both party governments reflected that the long experience of multi-party politics did not contribute to the recognition and internalization of the opposition parties. Unless some structural and/or cultural changes occur, the relations between governments and opposition parties seem to remain conflictual and adverserial.
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