Political participation as transformative reactive mobilization: a qualitative study of voter preferences among Turkish origin residents in the Netherlands

Fatih Goksu, Arjen Leerkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalComparative Migration Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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We do not claim to offer a full explanation of political representation of the immigrant group outside of mainstream political parties. It has been hypothesized, for example, that transnational Turkish diaspora networks, which are partially under the influence of the Turkish state, have also contributed to DENK’s success (Otjes & Krouwel, ). Indeed, the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs allowed DENK to promote itself in Dutch mosques receiving Turkish state funding. The appearance of the DENK leaders during a Rotterdam rally against the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey may also indicate links with the Turkish state (Bahçeli, ). Indeed, by facilitating dual citizenship and diaspora organizations, the Dutch multicultural policies also assisted the mutual engagement between migrants and the polity of the sending countries (Kymlicka, ; Ostergaard, ). Political parties in Turkey still closely engage with Turkish-origin diaspora with a view to making external Turkish citizens cast their votes in Turkish elections (Mügge et al., ). While we do not deny that Turkish diaspora policies may partially explain DENK’s success, we highlight the more domestic aspects of the reactive mobilisation process which are rooted in destination country experiences. It should also be mentioned that DENK, as far as is known, does not receive funding from the Turkish state—in fact, the party supported a 2022 bill that forbids financial gifts from outside of the European Union.

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