Residential Segregation by Educational Status in Turkey, 2012: Assessing the Role of Political Preferences

Samantha Friedman, University at Albany-SUNY
Ismet Koc, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies
Aysenur Kurtulus, University at Albany, SUNY

A dimension that has largely been ignored by scholars studying socioeconomic segregation is the role of political preferences. The main goal of the present study is to examine the association between recent voting behavior and the residential segregation of educational groups in Turkey controlling for other factors, including globalization. Turkey presents an interesting case study because of its polarized electorate, unprecedented economic growth, and high levels of income inequality. To calculate residential segregation scores by education for the 81 provinces in Turkey, we use neighborhood-level data from the 2012 Address-Based Population Registry System. Data on our independent variables come from the 2011 Turkish Census, 2011 voting data from archives maintained by Turkey’s Supreme Election Council, and the GaWC classification of global cities. We find that the highest levels of residential segregation are between those with a Bachelor’s degree or more and those with: 1) no schooling (D=.46); 2) a primary school education (D=.49); and 3) a middle school education (D=.40). In explaining variation for each of these dissimilarity scores, we find that the proportion of votes for the Republican People’s Party, the liberal party in Turkey, in the 2011 general election is positively and significantly associated with the residential segregation of those with a Bachelor’s degree or more education and those with no schooling; a primary school education; and a middle school education, controlling for other factors. Global cities are also significant in predicting educational-based segregation. The implications of these findings are discussed for theories on residential segregation.

Presented in Session 7: Internal migration and the segregation of migrants