SETA PUBLIC LECTURE By Ş. İlgü Özler, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, State University of New York-New Paltz Date: January 14, 2010 Thursday Time: 11.00 – 12.30 Venue: SETA Foundation, Ankara
Election campaigns in Turkey are in full swing. The political parties have mobilized all of their resources to get more voters on their side. But the July 22 election appears to be more than just politics as usual. Four main factors underlie the current election campaign. The first is “power politics.” All political parties are vying for a greater share at the ballot box. Political leaders are engaged in heated debates, accusing one another of not representing the center. The center keeps shifting from ultranationalist to social democrat and conservative. Promises range from the reasonable to the far-fetched. All political actors are desperately trying to gain the people’s confidence.
With July 22nd set for national elections, Turkish politics has entered a new phase. While AK Party is faced with the most important challenge of its political life to date, Turkish democracy is also put to the test. Over the next ten weeks, we will see a deep identity politics playing out in the Turkish political space.