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Reading Turkey's Foreign Policy on Syria: The AKP's Construction of a Great Power Identity and the Politics of Grandeur

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This study examines the ways in which Turkey's regional role, power and self-image are constructed by the Turkish official discourse on Syria. Focusing on the speeches of the AKP government on the conflict, as reported in a major mainstream Turkish daily, Milliyet, between March 2011 and November 2012, the article explores the major building blocks of the AKP government's representation of Turkey's capability, responsibility and threat perceptions with regard to the ongoing crisis. The analysis shows that the AKP government's demonization of the Assad regime and depiction of Turkey's moral responsibility toward the Syrian people served to constitute Turkey's great power role and assert Turkey's moral superiority vis-à-vis the other actors in the conflict. Turkey's policy of grandeur has been an integral element of the country's moralist, as well as national security discourse on Syria.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of International Relations, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey

Publication date: January 2, 2014

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