Political Perceptions of Party Voters and Members in Turkey

ECEVİT Y. A. , Celep Ö.

in: Party Politics in Turkey: A Comparative Perspective, Sayarı S., Ayan Musil P. , Demirkol Ö., Editor, Routledge, New York, pp.196-215, 2018

  • Publication Type: Book Chapter / Chapter Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • City: New York
  • Page Numbers: pp.196-215
  • Editors: Sayarı S., Ayan Musil P. , Demirkol Ö., Editor


The purpose of this chapter is to compare the political perceptions of party voters and party members in a highly polarized political context like Turkey’s. We argue that polarization in Turkey has micro-level determinants, which further intensify or moderate polarization; and understanding the perceptions of voters vis-à- vis party members enables us to portray polarization accurately. We use an original dataset collected via phone interviews in 2015 with members of four major parties and CSES-2015 survey data to investigate polarization at different levels of political parties. Our findings reveal that voters are more accurate in defining party positions and show more moderate tendencies in comparison to party activists.
Therefore, contrary to popular wisdom, polarization does not apply to everyone equally.