Middle East Center Presents: "Turkey's Republican People's Party and the 2011 Elections: Politics of Perpetual Change?"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 231 (34th & Walnut Streets), University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

The word 'change' has been synonymous with the founding party of Turkey since the introduction of its 'left of center' ideological opening in 1964. The primary task of the new Kilicdaroglu administration focuses on instigating change and reform to pull the CHP out of its electoral demise and make it a credible governing alternative to the incumbent AKP. Taking stock of recent developments, this article seeks to answer several important questions: In what ways has the "new" CHP managed to change the factors that have made it an electorally limited party in the recent past?

Specifically, what observations can be made of the CHP's electoral performance in the 2011 as compared to the 2007 elections; what is the Kilicdaroglu administration trying to 'change' about the CHP; to what extent do these changes strengthen/weaken the CHP's electability in the eyes of voters? Finally, is the electoral "ghettoization" of the CHP a problem of leadership (agency) as opposed to more deep seated (structural) factors?

Dr. Sinan Ciddi was born in Turkey and educated in the United Kingdom, where he gained his Ph.D. in Political Science from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in June 2007. He was previously an instructor at Sabancı University between 2004-2008 and completed his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the same institution between 2007-2008. Sinan Ciddi was appointed as the fourth Executive Director of the Institute of Turkish Studies at Georgetown University, succeeding David C. Cuthell at the end of August 2011.

He recently published a book titled Kemalism in Turkish Politics: The Republican People's Party: Secularism and Nationalism (Routledge, January 2009) focusing on the electoral weakness of the Republican People's Party.

Event Type: 
Educational Events
International Relations
Foreign Policy/Diplomacy
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