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Transnational Political Mobilization in Turkey Elections


8th Peace & Conflict Talk (PaCT). INPUTS by Dr. Inci Oykü Yener-Roderburg, University of Duisburg-Essen Dr. Besim Can ZIRH, Middle East Technical University, The Association for Migration Research

The presidential elections in the 100th year of the Republic of Turkey continue to be discussed in Turkey and Europe, especially in countries where postmigrants vote. From the perspective of peace and conflict studies, the electoral process corresponds to a time when, on the one hand, the political discourse built on a long-standing polarization and the "us-them" distinction in the country expanded transnationally, and the uncertainties created by global and local crises had significant effects on political behavior on the other. It is not difficult to think that the symbolic importance of the Centennial in terms of civic and national identities is remarkable, and the current uncertain environment enhances the prevalence and acceptance of political discourses consolidating these identities in the country.

However, the election process and the results showed that this rhetoric could also find strong responses abroad.

The most critical and interesting of the transnational influences of the elections was the support of Erdogan and his party from postmigrants living in European countries and voted in this election. In fact, although only 50% of the postmigrants who had the right to vote went to the polls, the high rates in favor of Erdogan, especially in Germany and France, made people ask the same question: How did Erdogan get such high support from Turkish citizens living abroad?

Understanding what this support means undoubtedly requires a multi-layered and multidisciplinary perspective. The available knowledge on diasporas, political behaviors, and transnationalism is enriching yet not sufficient.

The 8th PaCT aims to open an interdisciplinary space for making sense of the election results by hosting experts from Turkey and Germany and discussing the results regarding the influences on peace, democracy, and plurality. The event will be held online on 27th June 2023 Tuesday.

Transnational Political Mobilization in Turkey Elections
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