Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey 2017

On February 5th, 2018, at Istanbul Bilgi University, Emre Erdoğan and Pınar Uyan Semerci presented the results of the project “Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey” which analyzed different dimensions of political polarization. The project was conducted by Istanbul Bilgi University’s Center for Migration Research with the support of the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation – a project of German Marshall Fund. Between November-December 2017, 2004 people participated in the research.

This research study is a follow up of the field study in November 2015, which observed that there was high social distance between different party alignments, party alignments and political identities were interwoven and party supporters were thinking of themselves to be superior than the other party’s supporters. Political polarization was also seen in newspaper and television channel preferences because every party alignment preferred to take the news from their inner circle. The results showed that there was a need for construction of common areas to maintain the interactive relation between individuals.

The research in 2017 aimed to see the effects of the changes in social and political context on polarization for the last two years and it has similar results. Some of the results: Party alignments preserve their social distances; party supporters think of themselves to be morally superior than the other party’s supporters. Party supporters want to restrict political freedom of the other party’s supporters. Individuals’ preferences of getting information is related to their political party preference. The research also showed that apart from the different views of the individuals on all these subjects, their perceptions about the relations with the European Union and their negative approach to Syrian refugees constitute their common ground.

The research report is published in Turkish under the title of "Fanusta Diyaloglar: Türkiye'de Kutuplaşmanın Boyutları" (Dialogues in the Bell Jar: Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey) by Istanbul Bilgi University Publications.

Click for the presentation and summary of key findings

Click for the presentation on "Attitudes towards Syrians in Turkey"

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