Terrorist attacks' effects on electoral behavior:|bThe case of the November 2015 Turkish national elections
Vuruşkaner, Ecem (2020) Terrorist attacks' effects on electoral behavior:|bThe case of the November 2015 Turkish national elections. [Thesis]
Increasing terrorist attacks impact citizens in many countries. While governments try to deal with terrorist organizations, citizens react to terrorist attacks in different ways. In the terrorism and electoral behavior literature, the relationship between terrorist attacks and terrorism saliency in public opinion is disregarded. Therefore, this thesis studies the effects of terrorist attacks on terrorism saliency with the case of Turkey. During the period between the June and November 2015 Turkish national elections, the Turkish electorate witnessed an intensification of terrorist attacks which requires further attention. In this regard, I argue that terrorist attacks increase the level of terrorism saliency in the eyes of Turkish electorate. Not just the frequency of attacks, but the target selection of terrorist organizations also affects the level of terrorism saliency, where both attacks against civilians and security forces are expected to lead to increased terrorism saliency. Moreover, concentration of attacks in certain regions in accordance with their political aims and voters’ support for right-wing parties are other relevant factors to analyze the effect of attacks on terrorism saliency. Empirical analyses are conducted by merging individual level data with terrorism data at the province level. The empirical results are in line with the theoretical expectations indicating that terrorist attacks increase terrorism saliency in the public opinion; and the target type, concentration of attacks, and supporting right-wing parties also affect terrorism saliency. However, concentration of attacks and supporting right-wing parties’ effects on terrorism saliency are not conditional on increasing terrorist attacks.
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