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SPP 435

Author: Ersin Kalaycioglu
Description: The Turkish party system, and with it individual party identification, has been almost systematically undermined every ten years or so between 1950 and 1980 by three military coups. Therefore, we should expect scant evidence of psychological ties of the voters and the political parties they support at the polls in Turkey. In this paper, the relative role of parents’ party identification is compared to the influence on party choice of ideological orientations, economic expectations, and ethnic identities of voters. Socialization emerges as a major determinant of partisan affiliation to the relatively older Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Nationalist Action Parties, while the governing Justice and Development Party identifiers take few cues from their parents and pay more attention to the economic performance of the AKP in government. Ideology seems to play a major role in determining the psychological orientations of those who feel attached to the CHP versus the AKP or the MHP, but little role in differentiating AKP from MHP voters. Ethnicity only plays a role in partisan affiliation to the MHP, a strong Turkish nationalist party.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland