Unveiling the Spectrum of Populisms on Twitter: Analyzing Candidates’ Frames in the Turkish Presidential Electoral Campaigns of 2023
The superiority of democratic states in numbers over authoritarian states at the beginning of the twenty-first century has been replaced by a decline in recent years with the rapid rise of populism in the West and China in the East. The fact that this situation, which is the main trigger of the research, threatens the necessity of democracy in autocratic countries led by “autocratic populist leaders” (Esen and Gümüşçü,2016; Adaman and Akbulut,2020) and/or “undemocratic populists” (Rogenhofer and Ayala Panievsky,2020) and/or “spin dictators” such as Chavez, Orban, Modi, Putin, and Erdoğan (Guriev and Treisman, 2022, p:5). Led by Erdoğan for twenty-one years, polarized Turkey with a “hybrid [democratic] regime” (EIU,2023) serves as a laboratory to examine candidates’ populist frames during the two-round Turkish Presidential Elections in 2023.
In this light, the project aims to examine candidates’ varieties of populist frame utilization (exclusive/inclusive) and how those adoptions feed into the country’s already polarized context during the Electoral Campaigns of 2023 on Twitter. The researchers will address this problem by asking these questions: “How do various political actors (i.e., incumbent president, presidential candidates, major political parties, and their affiliated media outlets) adopt populist frames during Turkish electoral campaigns? Is there a significant difference between those political actors’ populist frame utilizations in the ruling party and the opposition? How to make sense of diverse populist frame utilizations?”.
This project is funded by Yaşar University Project Support Office (BAP 137).
Duration: 03.07.2023 – 03.07.2023
Project Coordinator: Prof. Dr. Emre İşeri
Consultant: Prof. Dr. Metin Ersoy
Researcher: Ezgi Su Mete
Project Assistants: Enes Ergörenler, İrem Konca