Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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In Turkey, recent debate is whether to include the word “Kurd” in the constitution or to replace the word “Turk” with “Turkiyeli” (who holds Turkish citizenship). These changes symbolically challenge the close correspondence between Turkish ethnicity and nationality. Granting some rights to the Kurdish minority, including recognition of their ethno-political identity in the constitution, is critical for democratic reforms and sustainable reconciliation following the peace agreement in March 2013. The question is “How much of the Turkish population supports these constitutional changes?” Research has proposed that having relationship with out-group individuals positively influences an individual’s perceptions of others. Therefore, the current study investigates the role of intergroup friendship, perception of discrimination, and identification (ethnic, national) in predicting support for democratic reforms through constitutional change. 380 college students (68.2% women, 31.3% men) who identified themselves as Turkish, participated in the study. A multiple regression analysis was conducted to predict support for democratic reform. The main effects of intergroup friendship, perception of discrimination and identification (ethnic, national) were entered. All predictors had significant independent effects except ethnic identity. Results were discussed in terms of intergroup relations.

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