Well-functioning democracies and economies require voters that evaluate the economic performance of governments and reward or punish them accordingly. For that reason, low and steadily declining electoral participation in North America and Western Europe is viewed with alarm. There is no such tendency in Turkey, where the turnout rate is about twice as high as in many industrialised countries. This column discusses key factors that determine electoral participation in Turkey.
Turkey has been ruled by a wide variety of governments over the past two-thirds of a century: single-party governments; coalitions partnered by two or more parties and by ideologically compatible and incompatible parties; and minority and military governments. This column explains why the order in which one type came after another was not accidental, but followed a pattern induced by coups. Economic performance under the different types of government has varied systematically.