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AKP and CHP Political Communication Strategies during 2019 Istanbul Elections: Capturing the Urban Votes.

Tever, M. (2023). AKP and CHP Political Communication Strategies during 2019 Istanbul Elections: Capturing the Urban Votes.. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This doctoral thesis examines the main features and differences between the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) and the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) political communication strategies during the 2019 Istanbul local election campaigns. Drawing on the Americanisation of political campaigns, the role of personalisation in campaign communication and the use of populism in both campaigns, the research also undertakes a comprehensive literature review of the political background of the AKP and the CHP. The research aims to demonstrate the transformative potential of effective political communication in challenging electoral authoritarianism. It investigates how the AKP, the incumbent, was defeated in 2019 Istanbul local elections, where the opposition party, the CHP, effectively used inverted populism and a candidate-centred communication strategy. To systematically address the research questions, the study carried out interviews with elites, consisting of key figures from politics, academia, and think tanks. In addition to this, the thesis employed textual analysis to examine not only the content but also the structure and functionality of text elements used in both campaigns. To cover the entire election periods comprehensively, a qualitative content analysis of rally speeches was conducted. The findings demonstrate that the two candidates used significantly different communication strategies and that choosing a catch-all candidate who can effectively utilise a positive and inclusive communication strategy, while addressing the diverse needs and concerns of the electorate through a candidate-centred campaign, may prove more effective than opting for a candidate with extensive experience but who adopts a populist approach through a party- leader centred campaign.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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