Municipal elections and its long-term impacts

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This article is featured in the ORIENT III 2019

Despite being merely a municipal election, the 31 March 2019 elections in Turkey were a watershed event in the Turkish political history. This article depicts two crucial features of Turkish politics; competitive authoritarian nature of the political regime and the dominance of identity politics and cleavages in the political life. These two features weighed heavily in this election as well, but the article also demonstrates through the electoral process, that both features are also slowly changing. As such the long-term implications of this election would go far beyond the limits of a local election.

Salim Çevik is a visiting researcher at SwP-Berlin. Prior to joining to SwP, he held research or teaching positions at lund University (Sweden), Ipek University (Turkey), Bilgi University (Turkey) and Columbia University (USA). His main areas of research are religion in politics, democratisation, nationalism and nation building and his most recent publication is Erdogan’s Comprehensive Religious Policy: Management of the Religious Realm in Turkey, (SwP Comments, 2019).

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