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Title: Turkey-EU relations and the representation of AK Party in the western political and media discourse
Author: Yanarisik, Oguzhan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 6712
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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Turkey-EU relations have attracted high public attention and academic curiosity as a special case that has provided a fruitful environment for a wide-ranging group of study areas. This thesis is particularly interested in the way in which AK Party and specifically Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been represented in the mainstream western media and political discourse, and how these representations have influenced specific encounters in Turkey-EU relations. The changes in the dominant representations over time have a special place in this analysis. This thesis mainly claims that, although there is no linear or causal relationship between representations and policy choices, western media and political discourse on AK Party had decisive influence in limiting possible policy options for policy makers. Positive and praising discourse on AK Party and Turkey that dominated western political landscape enabled EU leaders to open the way for membership negotiations. Similarly, negative and even demonising discourse on AK Party became the biggest obstacle for the continuation of the negotiations. This thesis claims that understanding the international social context is crucial in grasping the background of discourses and their influences on actors. Thus, it focuses on post-9/11 international social context with specific emphasis on western security discourses and the rise of Islamophobia in western societies, as crucial factors in shaping the international context during the relevant period. Turkey-EU relations is at its lowest point since the beginning of accession talks in 2005. The prospects for Turkey’s EU membership are looking bleaker than ever now, as is the representation of Erdogan and AK Party in the mainstream western media and political discourse. By using discourse analysis method, this thesis analyses the representations of AK Party in western mass media and political landscape, especially in the political turmoil during and after infamous Gezi Park incidents in Turkey that highlighted the problems in Turkey-EU relations as a negative turning point.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JZ International relations