The role of foreign policy discourse in the construction of Turkey's Western identity during the Cold War
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This thesis analyzes the role of foreign policy discourse in the construction of Turkey’s Western identity during the Cold War. It examines the concept of identity through a constructivist perspective. In contrast to mainstream theories that treat identities as ‘natural’, unchanging and inevitable, constmctivism maintains that identities do not stand ‘out there’ to be discovered, but are subject to construction and reconstruction by way of intersubjective understandings of actors. The thesis examines the constmction of Turkey’s Western identity by analyzing articles published in the quarterly journal Foreign Policy, which represent the views of academic, political, and—to an extent— military circles on foreign policy issues. Discourse analysis is used to analyze the political representations of foreign policy elites and to understand the systems of signification associated with certain political choices. The thesis analyzes the role of the elite discourse that focuses on Turkey’s NATO membership in the efforts to transform Turkey into a ‘modem’, ‘democratic’ and ‘civilized’ Western state (inclusion), in the face of the ‘traditional’, ‘antidemocratic’ and ‘uncivilized’ states of the Eastern bloc (exclusion). In this way, the discursive elements involved in the construction of Turkey’s identity that are established upon the notion of ‘difference’ (namely the closely linked notions of the ‘self and the ‘other’) are analyzed.