"Turkish Rambo": Geopolitical Dramas as Narrative Counter-Hegemony
Film and Media Studies
Near and Middle Eastern Studies
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Arabs and Turks share a historically complicated relationship. After 400 years of Ottoman imperialism over Arab lands that lasted until after World War 1, Turkish leader Mustafa kemal Atatürk's secularized Turkey and cut linguistic ties with Arab culture. Secularism, nationalism and NATO membership during the second half of the 20th century further distanced Turkey from Arab countries. This changed in 2001 with the rise of the Justice and Development Party (known by its Turkis acronym AKP). Incorporating electoral politics in a pro-business platform reflecting the AKP's pious and entrepreneurial constituency in Anatolian cities, the AKP has consolidated power in electoral victories since 2002. In the past decade, Turkey's forceful foreign policy, public criticism of Israeli actions, increased economic entanglement in the Arab world, and overall rising status, has been discussed via the trope of "neo-Ottomanism." Despite Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's autocratic tendencies and his government's worrisome imprisonment of numerous journalists and academics, the AKP appeared to be unshakable until popular demonstrations in Gezi park in Istanbul in 2013 put Erdoğan on the defensive.