Electoral Systems and Voting Behavior in Türkiye


Bekaroğlu E. A.

Istanbul University Press, İstanbul, 2024

  • Publication Type: Book / Research Book
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Publisher: Istanbul University Press
  • City: İstanbul
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

This book aims to scrutinize the influence of electoral systems, an institutional factor, on political life and voter behavior. The institutionalist approach to analyzing voter behavior directs its focus towards the effects of institutions and regulations that govern political participation, either encouraging or discouraging voting and nudging both voters and parties to act strategically. Türkiye offers a convenient case for analyzing the relationship between electoral systems and voter behavior due to its ability to provide internal comparisons. Since the initiation of multiparty elections in 1946, Türkiye has employed various versions of both majoritarian and proportional representation electoral systems. Nevertheless, Türkiye's parliamentary and electoral legacy can be traced back to 1876, marking the commencement of the First Constitutional Monarchy (Meşrutiyet) in the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, this book first evaluates political life and elections spanning from 1876 to 1946. After that the book makes an intensive analysis of electoral systems and voter behavior for the whole multi-party elections starting from the 1946. It also offers a comprehensive examination of electoral systems adopted in Türkiye since 1946 and the subsequent modifications. Overall, this study concludes that the electoral system based on proportional representation incentivizes both political elites to establish new parties and voters to support smaller parties. Yet, it also finds that the intended impact of high electoral thresholds, designed to hinder third parties within Türkiye's proportional representation system, did not materialize as expected during certain periods. Also, certain regulations enacted by parliamentary majorities against the opposition have not consistently yielded anticipated results.