The 2007 Parliamentary Elections in Turkey: Between Securitisation and Desecuritisation
Karakaya Polat, Rabia
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On 22 July 2007, 84% of the Turkish public went to polling stations to cast their votes in General Election. The incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a landslide victory, receiving 47% of the vote, the largest share since the elections of 1957. The political debate before the elections focused on two issues: the election of the next president and a potential military incursion into Northern Iraq. These issues have become deeply ingrained into the two main ongoing salient issues in Turkey: political Islam and the Kurdish issue. Drawing upon concepts from Securitisation Theory, this article argues that the election results can be explained by reference to Turkey's longstanding regime problems and the perceptions of these problems by the public. An analysis of the securitisation and desecuritisation of political Islam and the Kurdish issue provides insights into the understanding of the election results and its implications for the future of democracy in Turkey.