Richard E. Matland and Güneş Murat Tezcür, 2012. "Women as Candidates: An Experimental Study in Turkey," Politics & Gender 7(3): 365-390.
Patriarchal practices and understandings, especially those based on religious teachings, are seen as serious hindrances to women's access to political power. This obstacle often is seen as greatest in countries where Islam is the dominant religion. This study offers preliminary insights regarding how the sex of political candidates affects voting perceptions and behavior in Turkey, one of the few democratic countries with a Muslim majority population. We designed an experiment in which university students read speeches by candidates from the two major parties (AKP and CHP), randomly varying the sex of the candidates. We find that candidate sex influences respondents' evaluations of areas of competence and perceptions of individual characteristics. It has almost no impact, however, on voting decisions. When it comes to voting, party support and policy stands are vastly more important than candidate sex, even for religiously observant voters.
Güneş Murat Tezcür, 2012. "Trends and Characteristics of the Turkish Party System in the Light of the 2011 Elections," Turkish Studies 13(2): 117-134.
This article offers an analysis of basic trends in the post-1980 Turkish party system. How has the Turkish party system evolved during the last eight elections? How do these characteristics change with the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi)? Utilizing statistical methods informed by fieldwork conducted during the parliamentary elections of 2002, 2007, and 2011, the article suggests that Turkish elections exhibit unmistakable patterns of regionalization, which in turn have strongly contributed to the AKP's electoral ascendancy. Barring external shocks such as major economic crisis or leadership replacement, these regional patterns make it difficult for the opposition parties to effectively challenge the AKP.