Departmental Papers (ASC)

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Journal Article

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International Journal of Communication



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Ten years after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in Turkey in 2002, Turkish-Arab relations have dramatically improved. This rapprochement was largely based on Turkey’s engagement with Arab publics as part of a soft power–based policy conceived as neo-Ottomanism. Against the backdrop of the remarkable popularity of Turkish television dramas in the Arab world, this article focuses on Turkey’s transnational broadcasting and nation-branding efforts. Acknowledging the limits and challenges to soft power, it argues that the success of neo-Ottomanism has been based on the Turkish government’s use of multiple strategies of outreach through popular culture, rhetoric, and broadcasting to create a new Turkish nation brand of neo-Ottoman cool, articulated as at once more benign and more powerful. The conclusion discusses how the Arab uprisings have complicated Turkey’s charm offensive in the Arab world.

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This work was published in the International Journal of Communication. It is made available under Creative Commons license. The original work can be found here:

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Date Posted: 12 November 2019

This document has been peer reviewed.