Foreign policy during 2011 parliamentary elections in Turkey: both an ıssue and non-issue
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This article focuses on the foreign policy sections of 2011 election manifestos of the Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party) (AKP) the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (Republican People's Party) (CHP) the Milliyetci Hareket Partisi (Nationalist Movement Party) MHP and the Emek Demokrasi ve Ozgurluk Bloku (Labor Democracy and Freedom Bloc) (EDOB) the pre-election Bars ve Demokrasi Partisi (Peace and Democracy Party) (BDP). Foreign policy is both an issue and a non-issue for Turkish electorate because although foreign policy issues have almost no impact on voters choices the parties still continue to devote space to foreign policy performances promises and projections in their election manifestos. The analysis of 2011 election manifestos reveals that the AKP primarily envisions a Turkey with more commonalities with the East than with the West but yet ranked Turkey's relations with Europe and the West higherfor the MHP while Turkey's commonality with the East was defined in terms of common history and culture the West was portrayed to have commonness only in terms of valuesthe CHP equated European values with universalism and prioritized Turkey's ties with Europefinally the EDOB manifesto was an anti-thesis of all manifestos where foreign policy was instrumental for the ideological goals of the bloc and subsequently of the BDP.