Impact of Internal Migration on Political Participation in Turkey
12 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 7, 2014
During last sixty years, Turkish population moved from one province to another at the rate of about 7-8 percent per five-year interval. As a consequence of this massive internal migration, population residing in a province other than the one they were born in increased from 12 percent in 1950 to 39 percent in 2011. Impact of this population instability on provincial turnout rates in 2011 parliamentary election is studied, controlling for the effects of other socio-economic, demographic, political and institutional factors. Consequences of migration both at destinations and origins are considered. According to robust regressions estimated, the relationship between turnout and education is inverse U-shaped, and between turnout and age, U-shaped. The latter reflects generational differences as well. Large population, large number parliament members to be elected from a constituency, participation by large number of parties, and existence of a dominant party depress the turnout rate. A percentage increase in the proportion of emigrants among the people born in a province reduces turnout rate in that province by 0.13 percentage points, while a percentage increase in the ratio of immigrants in the population of a province reduces it by 0.06 percentage points. However, at destinations where large numbers of immigrants from different regions are concentrated, the opportunity afforded to immigrants to elect one of their own, reduces the latter adverse impact significantly and in some cases turns it to positive.
Keywords: election turnout, internal migration, political participation, Turkey, voter behavior
JEL Classification: D72, J61
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