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Title: A comprehensive approach to the Turkish legal barriers of minor party representation
Author: Muratogullari, Harun
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 2979
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigates the ways in which party and electoral laws exclude minor political parties from the representative political arena in Turkey. Most attention in the previous empirical research has focused principally on how electoral systems condition the breakthrough of minor parties. What makes this thesis original in its own field of scholarship is that it takes a more comprehensive approach to the treatment of minor parties in the law. By taking Pedersen's 'lifespan' approach (1982) to political parties as the main reference point for its empirical model and refining it in certain respects, the study starts the investigation from the very initial stage of party-building, and examines in depth the influences of the legal rules of party organisations, ballot access, electoral system and party finance. The empirical model of the thesis relies on a typology of party lifespan around four legal thresholds: the threshold of registration (party on the register), the threshold of authorization (party on the ballot), the threshold of representation (party in the parliament) and the threshold of public party funding. The thesis ultimately provides a holistic view as to whether or not the law in Turkey is conducive to the rise of smaller political parties. If the matter here is the rise 'on paper' (on the register), the answer that has emerged is quite positive. Setting up a political party in Turkey has always been governed with quite a liberal form of law, and in practice has been an uncomplicated venture for enterprising politicians. If it is meant rather as the capability of inserting themselves into political mainstream, then the answer emerging for the post-1980 legal regime in particular is not so positive. The thesis argues that the crux of the matter in the post-1980 period in particular is not how to bring a political party into existence, but rather how to create and sustain a viable organization which is sufficiently 'national' in character to surpass the high thresholds of authorization and representation. In this struggle, party financing also emerges to be a crucial factor. The study found that most of the electoral parties in Turkey are not able to raise enough funding to design and deliver effective electoral campaigns in order to stand a realistic chance in passing the thresholds under study. The party finance regime not only fails to curb the great disparity of private financing between major and minor parties, but also weakens the competitive position minor parties in elections further by overfunding their major rivals.
Supervisor: Fisher, J. ; Uberoi, V. Sponsor: Ministry of Education ; Turkey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Party regulations ; Political parties ; Electoral systems ; Party finance ; Party laws