THE PLACE OF WEB 2.0 APPLICATIONS IN THE ELECTION CAMPAIGNS: CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM AND TWITTER USAGE

Abstract

Author(s): Erhan ├ľRSELL?, ?smail SEV?N├ç, Niyazi KARABULUT, Sel├žuk D?N├çER

In this study, the constitutional referendum of 16th April of 2017 in Turkey is examined in the context of Twitter usage of some politicians and parties from both the blocks of “yes” and “no” campaigns. This study includes a qualitative data anaylsis method by using the program Nvivo 11. The Twitter usage of the last 15 days before the referendum is analyzed by using Nvivo 11. By doing this analysis, 16 Twitter accounts, 8 from “yes” campaign and 8 from “no” campaign, are examined, analyzed, and interpreted. Beside those, some of the hashtags which are chosen from the trend topics lists of the Twitter between the 1st and 16th of April are analyzed in relation with those 16 Twitter accounts. In the context of the digital age, the importance and necessity of social media, especially Twitter, in the election campaigns is the starting point of this study. This study aims to contribute to the field of political science by analyzing how Turkish politics is socializing in Twitter before the referendum. In this context, firstly, the Internet usage and social media usage in Turkey are summarized and then the relationship between the social media and politics will be explained shortly. After that, secondly, the process of constitutional referendum will also be summarized and finally data analysis will be done and founding data will be interpreted. Consequently, it can be seen in this study that the extent to which Turkey has adapted to digital age Technologies, specifically Twitter, in the context of elections and democratic participation from the findings which are obtained from qualitative data and qualitative analysis results

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