Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Party Politics and Social Cleavages in Turkey

Ergun Özbudun
Party Politics and Social Cleavages in Turkey
ISBN: 978-1-58826-900-3
2013/155 pages/LC: 2012049139
"Concise and clear analyses of the origin of the Turkish party system, the relationship between social cleavages and political parties, the patterns of voting behavior, and the problems of the electoral system." —Masaki Kakizaki, Middle East Media and Book Reviews

"A fresh analysis of Turkey's past and present political cleavages.... A must-read for all those interested in a more substantive understanding of Turkish politics."—Sinan Ciddi, Georgetown University

"An important and comprehensive examination of the electoral system and political parties in Turkey."—Ahmet Kuru, San Diego State University


Despite radical changes in Turkish politics since the transition to a multiparty system in the mid-1940s, the center-right parties have consistently won an electoral majority. Why? How have they managed to maintain such a firm hold in the face of social cleavages that pit modernizing, secularist state elites against a conservative and pious majority? Ergun Özbudun uses the lens of Turkey's party and electoral systems to enhance our understanding of the country's polarized politics.


Ergun Özbudun is professor of political science and constitutional law at Istanbul Şehir University. His publications include Social Change and Political Participation in Turkey and Contemporary Turkish Politics: Challenges to Democratic Consolidation.


  • The Party System and Social Cleavages in Turkey.
  • The Historical Roots of the Turkish Party System.
  • The Impact of Social Cleavages.
  • The Three Maladies: Fragmentation, Volatility, and Polarization.
  • The Electoral System and the Party System.
  • Current Debates on Electoral Reform.