Author(s): Zeynep Cihan KOCA-HELVACI
During the election campaigns, politicians spend great effort to gain votes by means of trying to legitimate themselves, delegitimate their rivals and arouse strong emotions in the audience by means of using covert ideological, religious and cultural connotations. Prior to the General Elections in Turkey on June 12th , political parties published their election statements in which their pledges concerning economy, domestic and foreign politics as well as social reforms were declared. Women issues have become a demanding subject in the agenda of Turkish society and politics as the oppression of women have become a front –page matter in the media recently. Being aware of the potential of the women voters awaiting solutions to their problems, politicians made various promises in their statements. In this study, it is aimed to explore the representation of women in the statements of three leading political parties the Justice and Development Party(AKP), the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) via Critical Discourse Analysis. It is also within the scope of this study to find out the highlighted points in the election statements which will reveal the problems of the women in the current Turkish society.The analysis puts forth that the representation of women in party statements reproduce the patriarchal ideology while the party statements are aimed at changing the status quo for women.