“Only strong states can survive in Turkey's geography”: the uses of “geopolitical truths” in Turkey
Following Critical Geopoliticians' re-formulation of geopolitics as discourse, this article historically traces, politically contextualizes, and empirically analyzes the linguistic practices as found in myriad actors' formal geopolitical writings and public articulations in Turkey. It shows how the production and dissemination of a particular understanding of geopolitics as a "scientific" perspective on statecraft, and the military as an actor licensed to craft state policies (by virtue of its mastery over geopolitical knowledge) has allowed the military to play a central role in shaping domestic political processes. Subsequent to the erosion of bi-partisan consensus on foreign policy from the mid-1960s onwards, civilian actors also began to tap geopolitics but as a foreign policy tool. By the end of the 1990s, geopolitics had become rooted in the discourses of both military and civilian actors shaping (for "better" or for "worse") Turkey's "foreign" relations with the European Union as well as "domestic" political processes.