The purpose of this study is to identify the urbanization–related determinants of two key political outcomes in Turkey, namely the election turnout rate and the vote share of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) which has been in power since 2002. We estimate regressions that include the outcomes as dependent variables and several socio-demographic indicators as explanatory variables. Making use of data available at both the province and district levels, we are able to observe nationwide patterns as well as those that apply in the province of Istanbul. The findings from the province level analysis reveal that the available indicators are reasonably good predictors of the dependent variables. It turns out that the urbanization rate was positively related with both of the outcomes. The findings in the vote share equation are in line with the hypothesis that the AKP has benefited from the existing living conditions of the urban population, especially in the metropolitan areas. The party has been particularly successful in identifying the worldviews and addressing the needs of conservative and generally-underprivileged masses of voters many of whom are first or second generation migrants. The district level analysis also yields results that are in line with our expectations regarding the socio-economic and cultural factors behind the AKP’s success. The high level of support for the party in parts of the province where lower-class native and migrant populations are concentrated is among the key findings of the econometric work. As previously argued in the literature, we attribute this success in part to the party’s prioritization of the provision of public services to the lower-class neighborhoods.
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