Rallies around the flag-draped coffins: The electoral effects of security force casualties in terror attacks

Resul Umit
(2018)

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Security forces are one of the main targets of political violence. This article examines the effect of their casualties on elections. Between two general elections in 2015, Turkey experienced a series of attacks that killed 153 members of the security forces. Based on the as-if random variation of their funerals across the country, I estimate that the government vote share increases in the burial places of terror victims. However, in the towns with recurring funerals, the support decreases by a similar percentage, cancelling the immediate rally behind the government out. These results provide strong evidence for the rally theory.