MUKHTAR ELECTIONS IN THE GRIP OF ETHNOCENTISM: VILLAGE OLIGARCHY AND CIPHERED VOTE

Abstract

Author(s): ?hsan KURTBA?

This study investigates the sociopolitical effects of ethnocentrism that are embodied in the Mukhtar elections in the context of provincial and village political culture. In this context, in the example of Ardahan province, a field research with mixed method has been carried out in which qualitative and quantitative methods are used together. Some interviewees stated that group affiliation related to truancy, tribalism, kinship, team spirit and collective belongings, determine the results of the Mukhtar elections to a great extent and stated that, wealthy, strong and broad families act as the dominant factor determining who would be the Mukhtar. Some of the interviewees interviewed pointed out that in some villages, some Mukhtars involve in efforts such as ‘cifhered voting’ which are incongruent with the authority of the mukhtars and democratic values. Such a political culture in which strong families gain dominance over others and unjust treatments arise out of the dichotomies related to in group and out group dichotomies, practically reduce democracy in the villages to a “village oligarchy”.

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