Party identification, islam and secularism in Turkey

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Kalaycıoğlu, Ersin (2008) Party identification, islam and secularism in Turkey. In: International Studies Association’s Annual Conference, San Francisco, California, USA

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Official URL: http://isanet.ccit.arizona.edu/sanfran2008/PreliminaryProgram.pdf


The current Turkish party system is only a few decades old, and some parties are even younger. We should expect scant evidence of psychological ties of the voters and the political parties they support at the polls in Turkey. Indeed, earlier research on the Turkish parties and voting behavior, conducted by Hofferbert and Erguder (1985), Kalaycioglu (1994 and 1999), Ozbudun (2000), Sayari and Esmer (2002), Carkoglu (2004), and Carkoglu and Hinich (2005) indicated that Turkey tends to host a plenitude of political parties due to several cultural and ideological divides that separate the Turkish party systems in various blocs. The above-mentioned literature indicates that secular – Islamist divide is in part responsible in the socio-cultural cleavages that divide up the Turkish body politic. Moreover, data analysis seems to indicate that the management of macro economy and performance of the parties in government influence electoral choices, and the socio-cultural cleavages of the country play relatively large role in determining party preferences of the voters in Turkey. However, the earlier research has been inconclusive about the role played by such psychological factors as party identification in Turkey. In this paper first of all, the role that such socio-cultural cleavages as secularism versus Islamism in determining party identification play is examined. Secondly various determinants of party preferences are comparatively examined to evaluate the role played by such factors as ideology, identity, economic expectations and party identification of the voters in Turkish politics of the early 2000s. A causal model that assesses the relative influence that ideological, economic, and psychological (party identification) factors play in the determination of party preferences of the Turkish voters is developed and tested by the help of the data collected by means of a national survey in April – May 2006. In the final and the third part of the paper a comparative evaluation of factors that explain party preferences across secular and Islamist parties in Turkey are attempted, with the specific aim of ascertaining the role that reason versus dogma play in the party politics that operate in a Muslim society and secular democratic system

Item Type:Papers in Conference Proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords:Party Identification, Party System, Turkish Politics, AKP, CHP, MHP
Subjects:J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
ID Code:8954
Deposited By:Ersin Kalaycıoğlu
Deposited On:11 Sep 2008 14:29
Last Modified:19 Jul 2019 10:24

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