Turkish Elections: Voters at the Crossroads?
Turkey is preparing for another national election. The political parties and leaders fielded candidates who seem to both represent a wide array of ideologies and make strong statements on where they stand on the political issues. Turkish politics still operates under sharp divisions that follow the cultural fault lines that separate Turkish society into communities with disparate and irreconcilable images of what a good society is. It is these differences that lead to divergent paths of political socialization, which on one hand, help to shape party identification, and on the other mold political ideologies that cohere with that identification. Ideological positioning seems to be critical in understanding their party preferences. However many do not seem to identify with any political party at all. For them, a second tier of party evaluation seems to occur. Those who seem to be dissatisfied with what they consider to be the economic record of the government and/or have little to expect from the economic performance of the government in the near future tend to vote for an opposition party close to their ideological position.