Turkey's political landscape

Nov. 9, 2011, 2:56 p.m.

A new report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy looks at the results 2011 parliamentary election results in Turkey at a regional level. They find increasing political polarization, regional divisions increasing, and a shift towards a two-party contests.

...[T]his study dissects and maps the support bases of the country’s leading parties—the AKP, CHP, MHP, and Kurdish nationalist Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)—in order to illuminate past trends and forecast potential near-term political developments. After breaking down each party’s national results from June and defining six regions that make up Turkey’s electoral geography, the paper analyzes the parties’ popular backing in various parts of the country, determining where their local support was higher or lower than their national tally. The paper also describes how voting results in certain regions indicate the emergence of distinct two-party systems, with the AKP and a given opposition faction receiving more than 75% of the vote in each area. In particular, continued migration to Turkey’s largest metropolitan areas and coastal provinces, where a two-party system along the AKP vs. CHP axis seems to be emerging, means that this dualism will likely assume a greater role in the country’s political system and shape the outcome of future elections.

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