Online Presence of the Members of the Turkish Parliament: Evaluation of the Turkish MP Web Sites

Online Presence of the Members of the Turkish Parliament: Evaluation of the Turkish MP Web Sites

Mete Yildiz (Hacettepe University, Turkey), Ahu Sumbas (Hacettepe University, Turkey) and Kadir Dede (Hacettepe University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1740-7.ch038
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Increasing technology use opens up new channels of political interaction. Reviews of Turkish e-democracy literature show that research on technology use in the Turkish legislature is insufficient. This chapter addresses this gap and contributes to the e-government and e-democracy literatures by examining and evaluating the content of the personal web sites of the members of the Turkish Parliament. The findings show that MP web site presence in Turkey is still in its infancy. The potential of e-democracy through the use of MP websites are hindered by the same factors that limit the practice of democratic practices and participation in Turkey, such as the absence of a culture of citizenship with direct demands for being a part of the political process. Findings on MP website use also have implications on the development of e-democracy in Turkey.
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Literature Review

Political systems are experiencing decreasing levels of trust and increasing cynicism towards the actors and institutions of politics, which is made explicit by decreasing levels of election turnouts. ICTs are presented as one of the remedies that can be used to overcome the crises of legitimacy of the representative democracy system (Lawrence, 2004; Lusoli et al., 2006, p. 24; Sawer & Zappala, 2001). In fact, Lusoli et al. (2006, p. 29) emphasizes that the importance of the opening of meaningful and useful interaction opportunities via ICTs. They add that the majority of the citizens are expecting to use more ICTs in the future, but not necessarily for political purposes. Hilbert (2009) argues that newer opportunities presented by the technology such as social networking opens up new venues for political deliberation and meaningful participation. There are others, who argue that the use of ICTs does not solve important political problems, such as political participation inequalities based on socio-economic status (Sclozman et al., 2010).

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