Research Center for International Relations

Research Center for International Relations

December 27, 2012

Assist. Prof. Emre Sencer

PAST, IMAGE, AND IDEOLOGY: RE-READING HISTORY IN THE AKP DISCOURSE

Abstract

The focus of the paper is the perception of and relationship with history of the AKP from the perspective of pro-AKP intellectuals and newspaper columnists. At the heart of this re-reading of history, especially provided in an easy-to-consume manner in newspaper columns and TV talk-shows, is a binary presentation of AKP and its rivals from a historical perspective. For example, “elected vs. appointed” or liberal (and, therefore, “natural”) vs. “statist/authoritarian.” It is a fairly quick progression from these binaries to a critique of modernity from which the Republic is supposed to have emerged. In other words, instead of a detailed and nuanced reading of the birth of the nation-state in the interwar years, pro-AKP media and intellectuals arrive at a limited and one-dimensional interpretation of the historical origins of the Republican state and its socio-cultural policies. The aim of this paper is to examine these binaries and analyze their impact on Turkish political discourse.

(E-mail: esencer@knox.edu)

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Research Center for International Relations