Despite 16 competitive general elections since 1950 Turkey is typically not included in comparative party systems analyses. This is partly due to three military coups that interrupted democracy. However, Turkey is currently negotiating for the EU membership. Growing literature on the Turkish party system shows continuities in party system characteristics and their constituent longer-term social cleavages. We aim in this paper to locate Turkey within the larger picture of European party systems. Using Comparative Manifesto Project (CMP) data together with Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) data we aim to place Turkish political parties within the European party families. We derive basic cleavages that underlie the European party systems and analyse standard party system indicators in 28 EU Member States and Turkey, as a candidate state. We conclude by providing a methodological assessment comparing content coding from CMP and expert judgments from CHES in their ability to account for the peculiarities of Turkey within the larger European context. We show similarities and differences achieved when we use one or the other methodology.