The false promise of Europeanisation in Turkey's national identity discourse


JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPEAN STUDIES, 2021 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


On the question of whether Turkey has been turning away from Europe in the last decade, this research argues that there has been a false promise of Europeanisation of the Turkish national identity since the pro-Islamist AKP government came to power in 2002. Adopting a critical constructivist approach has revealed that the Europeanisation process has contributed to the domestic power struggle of competing Turkish nationalist discourses in maintaining and transforming Turkey's Kemalist nation-state identity that, paradoxically, has empowered de-Europeanisation of Turkey's identity. An analysis of debate in the print media discourse empirically shows how Turkey constructs its identity as 'the other' in Europe in different discourses of Turkish nationalism. Consequently, this study points out that the domestic power struggles involved in the reconstruction of Turkey's identity, which was triggered by the Europeanisation process that targeted the Kemalist and Europeanist construction, has consolidated the Islamist, post-Kemalist nation-state identity discourse.