Polarisation over the meaning of democracy: The case of political parties in Turkey


Politics, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/02633957231191445
  • Journal Name: Politics
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Geobase, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, vLex, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Keywords: democracy, polarisation, political parties, Turkey, Twitter
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


As the primary means of political organisation, political parties remain vital to contemporary democracies, making it important to investigate their understanding of democracy. This study explores the themes with which five largest political parties in Turkey associate democracy. We studied tweets posted by official accounts of these parties’ headquarters and branches, as well as by other Twitter accounts that are institutionally linked to these parties. We found significant differences between the government bloc and the opposition bloc as well as between People Alliance and Nation Alliance in terms of the themes with which they associate democracy. The government bloc and People Alliance use themes such as national will and military coups while referring to democracy. The opposition bloc and Nation Alliance emphasise themes such as equality, freedom of the press, and justice. We conclude that parties’ and blocs’ different attitudes towards democracy are indicators of political polarisation in Turkey.