Embedding-based Qualitative Analysis of Polarization in Turkey [article]

Mucahid Kutlu, Kareem Darwish, Cansin Bayrak, Ammar Rashed, Tamer Elsayed
2019 arXiv   pre-print
On June 24, 2018, Turkey conducted a highly-consequential election in which the Turkish people elected their president and parliament in the first election under a new presidential system. During the election period, the Turkish people extensively shared their political opinions on Twitter. One access of polarization among the electorate was support for or opposition to the reelection of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In this paper, we explore the polarization between the two groups on their political
more » ... inions and lifestyle, and examine whether polarization had increased in the lead up to the election. We conduct our analysis on two collected datasets covering the time periods before and during the election period that we split into pro- and anti-Erdogan groups. For the pro and anti splits of both datasets, we generate separate word embedding models, and then use the four generated models to contrast the neighborhood (in the embedding space) of the political leaders, political issues, and lifestyle choices (e.g., beverages, food, and vacation). Our analysis shows that the two groups agree on some topics, such as terrorism and organizations threatening the country, but disagree on others, such as refugees and lifestyle choices. Polarization towards party leaders is more pronounced, and polarization further increased during the election time.
arXiv:1909.10213v1 fatcat:hpmk5brf6rhj5j4czahupborom