Constructing Identities in Turkey, Bridging the Gap with the EU?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Abstract The need to conduct more research on identity differences arises as Turkey gets closer to becoming a member of the European Union. Aware of this demand the aim of this thesis is to examine the modernization efforts in Turkey and find out if these have led to a Europeanization of the Turkish identity, an issue of significance in integration. The dissertation is carried out with a social constructivist framework due to this theory's advantages in explaining social phenomena as well as politics and identity matters. Establishment of the Turkish Republic, with its socio-political roots and repercussions up to date is examined as a case. Secondary sources are employed to highlight the evolution and contemporary state of the Turkish identity, which emerges as a colorful product of various cleavages and thus raises questions about its compatibility with the European identity.The analysis suggests that despite the efforts of the particular elites, namely the Justice and Development Party and the Turkish Military, Turkish people are far from being Europeanized in the next few years. Therefore a thorough identity building is needed in the longrun, by merging major socio-political identities to ensure a more European feeling among the citizens. Keywords: Turkish identity, social constructivism, modernization, ?the other?, Justice and Development Party

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