SOCIO-POLITICAL ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL RALLIES (The Sample of Justice and Development Party and Nationalist Movement Party)

İhsan KURTBAŞ

Rally is one of the most important instruments of the [political] participation. However, considering that it has not been found in another study in which the election rallies are examined sociopolitically in Turkey means that this important instrument/field is denied. The study consists of theoretical and empirical parts. The empirical part includes a questionnaire to 300 voters that attended to the rallies of Justice and Development Party and Nationalist Movement Party before local elections. The main purpose is to determine different variables involving those who attend to political rallies, why and how often; to examine their effects; to understand how much of them is spectator or supporter; to obtain a psycho- political analysis related to the mood of voters in rally and eventually to carry out a socio-political analysis of the rally. According to some of the obtained data, more than half of the attenders that attend to the rally obtain information about the rally place and the beginning time of it from televisions. People attend to the rallies mostly to give support to their parties, to see the party leader, to spend time or satisfy their curiosity. About four out of every hundred people who attended to the rally changed their preferences and judgments negatively. The attenders to the rallies are mostly women from city centres, and men from central district and outside the province. Men, elderly ones and those with high levels of education attend more and more often to the rallies. While the housewives attend to the rallies at the very least, the public employees are at the very most. The housewives attend mostly to the rallies of Justice and Development Party and the public employees mostly to those of Nationalist Movement Party. The education level of attenders for Nationalist Movement Party is higher. The rate of supporters is higher in the rallies of Nationalist Movement Party. However, it is the rate of spectators that is higher in the rallies of Justice and Development Party. The attenders took part in the rally of Justice and Development Party mostly to see the party leader; on the other hand , it was mostly to give more support to their party in the that of Nationalist Movement Party. Those in the rally of Nationalist Movement Party identified their mood mainly as angry and courageous. However, it was defined as happy and proud for those in the rally of Justice and Development Party.

Keywords: Political Attendance, Public Opinion, Rally, Justice and Development Party, Nationalist Movement Party