Foreign Policy as a Contested Front of the Cultural Wars in Turkey: The Middle East and Turkey in the Era of the AKP

Gürpınar D.

ULUSLARARASI ILISKILER-INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, vol.17, no.65, pp.3-21, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 65
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.33458/uidergisi.660644
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.3-21
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article analyses the evolving discourses over Turkish foreign policy deeply entrenched within the Turkish cultural wars. It demonstrates the process and mechanisms that render Turkish foreign policy an extension of the pursuit of cultural politics and statements of identity. It also assesses how the Middle East was posited not only as a theater of diplomacy but also as a rhetorical gadget over contested Turkish identity, especially pushed by the AKP intelligentsia and policymakers and avidly defied by the secular opposition. Its emphasis is on the Arab Spring and Turkey's immersion into the Syrian civil war, as these developments exacerbated the overlap between foreign policy making and discourses on foreign policy, particularly since the AKP sought not only diplomatic opportunities but also a regional transnational realignment as a result of the Arab Spring and the regional revolutionary milieu.