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Politics, Parties, and Elections in Turkey

Sabri Sayari and Yilmaz Esmer
Politics, Parties, and Elections in Turkey
ISBN: 978-1-58826-022-2
2002/240 pages/LC: 2001058461

"A thought-provoking volume of great significance. The volume comprises masterful studies of the trials and tribulations of democratic consolidation.... It vividly highlights the party fragmentation and voter volatility, and their implication on the fortunes of democracy in Turkey."—Metin Heper,Turkish Studies

"Provides scholars and students of Turkish politics most valuable readings on the state of Turkish party politics at the turn of the 21st century."—Sahin Alpay, MESA Bulletin

"The important findings in this book ... provide insights and data for researchers studying not only Turkish democracy but also the compatibility of Islam and democracy in countries with majority-Muslim populations." —Zeyno Baran, Middle East Quarterly

"Provide[s] a rich store of data on how the Turkish voters vote, why they choose particular parties, and what their choices imply for the evolution of the country's party system."—International Journal of Public Opinion Research

"Highly recommended for all university, college, and urban libraries."—R.W. Olson, Social and Behavioral Sciences

"Rich in insights and information . . . an important reference for democratic politics in Turkey. This is a must purchase for university libraries."—Marcie J. Patton


The Turkish party system has undergone significant changes since the 1940s, moving from a two-party system to one encompassing nineteen parties— and resulting in a highly fragmented parliament. The contributors to this volume assess the intertwined effects of party fragmentation and voter volatility in Turkey. Presenting a wealth of data, they illuminate the trajectory of democratic consolidation, as well as underlying issues of representation, participation, and governability.


Sabri Sayari is professor of political science at Sabanci University. His publications include The Changing Dynamics of Turkish Foreign Policy (coedited with Alan Makovsky). Yilmaz Esmer is professor of political science at Bogazici University (Turkey). He is author of Revolution, Reform, and Status Quo: Social, Economic, and Political Values in Turkey.


  • Introduction—Y. Esmer.
  • The Changing Party System—S. Sayari.
  • An Overview of Electoral Behavior: Toward Protest or Consolidation of Democracy?—F. Tachau.
  • Elections and Governance—E. Kalaycioglu.
  • Local Elections and Electoral Behavior—N. Incioglu.
  • At the Ballot Box: The Determinants of Voting Behavior—Y. Esmer.
  • An Analysis of the Electorate from a Geographical Perspective—A. Çarkoglu and G. Avci.
  • Ethnic and Religious Bases of Voting—A. Gunes-Ayata and S. Ayata. Realignment and Party Adaptation: The Case of the Refah and Fazilet Parties—B. Yesilada.
  • Conclusion—S. Sayari.