The Bilkent University Seminar Series – Polity, Society and the World cordially invites you to the talk by Prof. Ali Çarkoğlu (Koç University) “Locating Turkey in Comparative Party Programmatic Policy Spaces”. The talk will take place on December 2, 2015 (Wednesday) at 15:40 in the C-block Auditorium.
Turkey forms an odd case in the party systems literature and is often left out of comparative analyses. However, despite three direct military interventions with still continuing legal and institutional legacy Turkey has had a resilient party system with 17 competitive elections between 1950 and 2015. Given the existing Comparative Manifesto Project (CMP) data for all elections, two objectives form the basis of this paper. The first is to provide a comparative location of the Turkish parties within the European and larger world democracies that the CMP data covers. Together with the conventional left-right scale, the larger manifesto emphases will be used within a multivariate classification framework to locate Turkish parties in comparison to main party families in the CMP data. The second objective then is to provide a more in-depth analysis of manifesto argumentation in Turkish elections between 1950 and 2015 and trace temporal developments in the evolution of issue debate within the Turkish party system. Our analyses show that Turkish political parties fit well in to the global political argumentation that the CMP data summarizes. The major Turkish political parties appear to be closer to the conservative, Christian Democratic and nationalist parties as well as the social democrats. Nevertheless the subtleties of the Turkish party system and ideological rhetoric therein is better grasped with a two-dimensional depiction that conform to our expectations based on earlier work in the literature. Most significantly, the nature of ideological orientation that conventional left-right scale summarizes is found to be based mostly upon religious and ethnic identities rather than socio-economic differences and backgrounds.
Ali Çarkoğlu is a Professor and the Chair of International Relations as well as the Dean of the College of Administrative Sciences and Economics at Koç University, Istanbul. His research focuses on electoral politics, political parties and party systems, public opinion and voting behavior in Turkish and comparative politics. His contributions have appeared in European Journal of Political Research, Electoral Studies, Democratization, Turkish Studies, Political Studies, South-European Society & Politics, and the Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. He is also a co-author of Turkey and the European Union: Accession and Reform (Routledge, 2012), The Rising Tide of Conservatism in Turkey (Palgrave, 2009), Politics of Modern Turkey (Routledge, 2008), Turkish Democracy Today: Elections, Protest and Stability in an Islamic Society (I.B. Tauris, 2007), Religion and Politics in Turkey (Routledge, 2006), Turkey and the European Union, Domestic Politics, Economic and The Political Economy of Regional Cooperation in the Middle East (Routledge, 1998) among others.