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Cem Baslevent, Hasan Kirmanoglu and Burhan Senatalar, "Party Preferences and Economic Voting in Turkey (Now That the Crisis Is Over)," Party Politics, 15 (May 2009), 377-391.

First paragraph:
In November 2002, the 'moderate-Islamist' Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalk┬×nma Partisi; AKP) came to power in Turkey to form the first single-party government in 11 years. With 34 percent of the votes, the party won nearly two-thirds of the seats in the parliament owing to the election system that imposes a 10 percent national threshold for representation. The AKP was the recipient of a substantial number of protest votes by large numbers of electors who were adversely affected by the dismal economic conditions that prevailed in Turkey after the former ruling coalition led the country into its worst ever economic crisis. While the centre-left Republican People's Party was the only party other than the AKP to enter the parliament, members of the former coalition suffered the heaviest losses, as their combined vote share dropped by about 39 percentage points (to 14.7 percent) in the three and a half years following the April 1999 elections. This was the first time in Turkey that ruling parties had been totally wiped out in parliament.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1a. Distribution of the economic voting variables (April 2002)
Figure 1b. Distribution of the economic voting variables (December 2003)
Table 1. Multinomial logit results of the vote intention function (April 2002)
Table 2. Multinomial logit results of the vote intention function (December 2003)
Table 3. Tests of significance of the explanatory variables

Last Paragraph:
As far as the economic voting issue is concerned, we found evidence that economic evaluations play a significant role in party choice alongside the non-economic factors. Our earlier finding based on the 2002 data was that those who have been adversely affected by the economic crisis of 2001 were likely to vote for the AKP, hence punishing incumbent parties of that period. The situation in 2003 is that those who make optimistic evaluations about the state of the economy are more likely to vote for the AKP. Thus, economic voting is present in Turkey not only in the sense that unsuccessful incumbents are punished, but also in the sense that successful incumbents are rewarded. Future research is likely to shed light on whether this pattern was specific only to the relatively short period between the two surveys, or whether it applies over a longer period of time.

Last updated April 2009