"Turkey is bigger than Turkey": diaspora-building and the transnational politics of the Turkish State

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Burgeoning research on political transnationalism and diaspora politics has revealed the growing interest of origin states to reach out to their emigrant communities in an attempt to develop stronger ties with them. The Turkish state has been no exception. This chapter examines changes and continuities in Turkey’s diaspora policies. Since the 2000s, under the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP), the state has wooed, seduced, mobilised, and threatened its citizens abroad more vigorously than ever before, assembling new institutional platforms and an expansive range of new policy initiatives (socio-economic, cultural, religious, legal) to do so. Directed at emigrants, pan-Turkish “co-ethnics”, and second- and third-world foreign Muslim nationals, these efforts articulate the state’s dual strategies of “kin-building” and diaspora mobilisation in line with domestic political interests. In tracing out both historical continuities and novelties that characterise this state-engineered political transnationalism, the chapter concludes that the “new” diaspora policy reveals no fundamental clash with the transnational policies of the earlier Kemalist era. Nevertheless, it pursues an enlarged trans-Kemalism, an amalgamating ethnic-Turkism, the Turk-Islam synthesis, and an Islamic third-worldism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge handbook on contemporary Turkey
EditorsJoost Jongerden
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Chapter36
Pages456-468
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429264030
ISBN (Print)9780367209025, 9781032023694
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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