Electoral Systems In Turkey And Their Impact On Elections

While 10% national threshold at electoral system especially operates in favor of big parties, with this threshold fairness at representation principle expressed at 1982 Constitution and electoral law as well as political freedom principle has been harmed

Electoral systems are institutional arrangements that provide information on the level of a country’s democracy and political freedom standards. Electoral systems having majoritarian, proportional representation or hybrid qualities is related to the countries’ historical situations, preference of political elite and socio- economic structures. While at every election held after 1961 in Turkey the parliamentary body had been formed using proportional representation method, threshold reinforced proportional representation system which was used partially in 1960-80 period and which is used at every elections today enabled representation of primarily powerful parties in the parliament, this in turn leads to a common representative fairness in context of elector-electee relation. The fact that Turkey places “administrative principles” next “fairness in representation” in its constitution and electoral laws makes it hard to ensure representation of political differences and make majoritarianism dominant. The picture drawn before us on June 7th shows that there will be no easy way out of 4 party parliamentary politics in the coming period. If any changes to be made on electoral system has a reinforcing effect on fairness in representation, these may serve to enhance political liberties and thus our democracy.