"A very impressive book with a rich, complex understanding of Turkish politics."—Hurriyet Daily News
"Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections."—Choice
"Politicians as well as scholars who view the Turkish political landscape with unease because of the direction that the seemingly unchallenged Islamists led by Erdogan are taking the country will benefit from Wuthrich’s insights."—Middle East Quarterly
"Overall, National Elections in Turkey makes a strong case against a culturalist reading of Turkish politics. It will be a useful resource for scholars looking for a historical narrative and descriptive analysis of the Turkish electoral system, party politics, and voter behavior."—International Journal of Middle East Studies
"Skillfully takes to task several assumptions about political dynamics in Turkey long thought to be true. The arguments developed are persuasively substantiated by drawing upon several works by prominent scholars."—Metin Heper, author of The State and the Kurds in Turkey: The Question of Assimilation
"An important and timely subject. . . . Wuthrich has framed his study and findings in an original way, providing fresh insight and suggesting new ways of understanding party politics in Turkey."—Sabri Sayari, coauthor of The Routledge Handbook of Modern Turkey
What determines voting behavior in Turkey? At a time when the center-right, religious-conservative leadership of the Justice and Development Party has dominated government and the political scene in Turkey—so much so that the democratic credentials of the regime have come into question—many have sought to understand what undergirds this party’s success at the polls. While many scholars have argued that elections in Turkey over time can be effectively and simply explained by static social or cultural cleavages, Wuthrich challenges these assertions with a framework that carefully attends to patterns of strategic vote-getting behavior in elections by political parties and their leaders.
Using the campaign speeches of the political elite, election data at national and provincial levels, and careful observations of voter mobilization strategies across time, Wuthrich traces four distinct patterns that explain important shifts in electoral behavior. He covers the first free and fair multiparty election in 1950 and follows campaign strategies through 2011, highlighting and explaining the potential development of a new and more problematic paradigm emerging in the post-2007 environment.
F. Michael Wuthrich is assistant director of the Center for Global and International Studies at the University of Kansas.
6 x 9, 376 pages, 11 black and white illustrations