Izmir occupies a place of its own in the Turkish election geography. It is a place where political parties with strong centrist tendencies have always prevailed in both local and general elections, ever since the establishment of a multiparty political system more than half a century ago. In this outcome, the sui generis socioeconomic and political characteristics of Izmir play a determining role. Since the mid-1990s, the representational crisis that the center-right-wing political parties in particular have suffered has laid the ground for the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Izmir. This party was established before the 2002 elections, and despite its origins on the Islamic right, it has since evolved into a representative of the new liberal-conservative trend in politics. In the July 22, 2007 elections, this party won 30 percent of the votes. In this essay, a comparative analysis of the electoral preferences in Izmir in the November 3, 2002 and the July 22, 2007 elections and the changes in electoral preferences together with their underlying reasons are presented.
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Document Type: Research Article
Faculty of Communications, Department of Journalism, Ege University, Izmir
Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of International Relations, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey
June 1, 2008