The effects of refugee influx in recent years have been mostly analysed in terms of social and economic dimensions. However, the effects are especially important on the party system of the host countries that shape the political governance. In this study, we analyse the effects of massive refugee inflow from Syria to Turkey using regional data for the party votes in the 2015 parliamentary elections. The results show that the refugee crisis significantly increased the votes of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) in the June election in the regions with higher refugee ratios. Due to the fact that public perceptions towards the refugees are shaped via media, and mostly new digital media, I also test whether Internet usage has an effect on the votes. I find a similar positive effect for the MHP when Internet and refugee variables are interacted. Furthermore, we find that the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) did not lose many votes as voters appraised economic growth in the regions.
SOURCE: Mehmet Karacuka. “Refugees and Votes: The Impact of Refugee Influx and Internet on Voting Decisions.” Journal of Refugee Studies, 31 August 2019.
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