Transformation of Turkish Politics: Socio-Political, Economic and Ethnic Peculiarities

Toprak M., USLU N., King J. D.

BILIG, no.50, pp.199-232, 2009 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 50
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.199-232
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


This article is based on a fieldwork conducted in the second half of October 2007. The sampling has been designed to represent whole of Turkey. Modern Turkey has reached its 85th anniversary and still deals with problems related to the discussion on ethnic and religious identities in Turkish society. By conducting this survey, we have portrayed general peculiarities of Turkish voters in terms of political, socio-economic, ethnic, and religious identities. We have obtained three main socio-political upper identities and called them Modernist-Kemalist, Conservative-Nationalist and Leftist-Social Democrat. The most common identities in Turkish society are lined up as Modernist-Kemalist, Conservative-Nationalist and Leftist-Social Democrat. It is interesting that the AKP has a high level of acceptance among all groups. This means that this party has moved to the center (center-right) and that the largest part of the Turkish population does not considered it a serious threat to the regime. The main divide within Turkish society, and the source of its conflict, is not so much among the majority of people, but rather between them and a traditional secular elite that continues to use its influence to deny those who do not share its particular vision of westernization access to the public sphere.