Spatial model of elections in Turkey: Tracing changes in the party system in the 2000s

Norman Schofield, Betul Demirkaya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The Turkish political party system underwent significant changes during the first decade of the 21st century. While secularism and nationalism remained the defining issues of electoral politics, both the number and the ideological positions of parties in the political system changed considerably. In the 2002 elections, none of the parties from the previous parliament were able to pass the electoral threshold. The new parliament was formed by the members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)-a new conservative party founded by the former members of Islamist parties-and the Republican People's Party (CHP)-a party with a strong emphasis on a secularist agenda. In the 2007 elections, AKP consolidated their power by receiving 46.6 % of the votes while CHP increased their share of the vote by only 1.5 percentage points to 20.9 %. In addition, the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and independent candidates supported by the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) were able to win seats in the 2007 elections. In order to explain these changes, this paper applies the spatial model to the 2007 elections and compares the results to previous analyses of the 1999 and 2002 elections (Schofield et al. 2011). First, we run a pure spatial model to estimate the relative role of the ideological position and the valence of political parties in determining their electoral success. Second, we supplement the spatial model with the demographic characteristics of voters. Finally, we use simulations to determine whether a Nash equilibrium exists for the position of political parties or candidates.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Political Economy
Subtitle of host publicationInstitutions, Modelling and Empirical Analysis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783642352393
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

Bibliographical note

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© 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. All rights are reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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