• Abstract Charly Delmas Nguefack Tsafack : The Amity International College network: an instrument of Turkish soft power in Cameroon

    The Amity International College network: an instrument of Turkish soft power in Cameroon

    The emerging countries are likely to play a leading role in the world economy and governance in a more or less near future. Africa constitutes a new playing field of these countries. Forsaken formerly by globalization, the African continent from now on is courted as well by the traditional industrial powers as by the emergent powers. Turkey is not in rest. In 1998, the Turkish diplomats through their Ministry of Foreign Affairs started the “Opening up to Africa” Program. Within the framework of a strategy of indirect influence in Africa, a tacit agreement between the Turkish Ministry of National education and the association known as the “fethullahcı” allowed the development of a network of Turkish schools on the black continent. It is the case of the Amity international college network of Cameroon who counts already three school groups (Ngaoundere, Yaounde and Douala). This article proposes to show, starting from an investigation of field research and of an empirical analysis, how Turkey through these schools installs its influence in Cameroon. The article first of all presents the network of Amity International College of Cameroon before examining the challenges of the establishment of this company. The article also shows that these schools are an instrument of the cultural and economic power of Turkey in Cameroon. It concludes that this network of schools of excellence constitutes a powerful instrument of Turkish soft power in Cameroon.

  • Abstract Elshan Mustafayev : The Majors Assets for Turkish Foreign Policy in the Caucasus: The question of “background”

    The Majors Assets for Turkish Foreign Policy in the Caucasus: The question of “background”

    This paper aims to examine the relevance of the soft power concept for interpretation of Turkey’s foreign policy towards one of its neighboring region. The unpredictable disintegration of the Soviet Union put Turkey in front of a new regional strategic context. Criticized at the same period in the west for the lack of democracy and for the human rights abuses, Turkish political system became paradoxically an attraction, “a source of inspiration to imitate” or a model for this new geopolitical environment. Analyze the impact of the Turkish political values in the region allow us to suppose that it did not constitute an enormous asset for its foreign policy in this region. Apart from its more advanced political system than Russia and Iran, the starting point for Turkey’s future in the region was the linguistic and complex cultural kinship with six newly independent republics. Cultural diplomacy was supposed also to constitute an effective tool leading to further success of Turkey in this region’s economy, which was passing throughout economic transformation after their experience in communist system. Turkish dynamic economy, as a resource both to hard power and to soft power depending on the context according to Nye’s definition, constituted a source of attraction for many countries of the region, reinforced interestingly in its turn the legitimacy of the cultural “intervention” of Turkey, so forming a sort of “virtuous circle”. In parallel to this process that takes place inside of Turkey, the rise of the non-state actors both in the economic and in the cultural field and the charge, they took, of course indirectly, in the realization of foreign policy goals created more or less autonomous sphere out of state control in Turkey. It sometimes helps Turkish foreign policy goals in Caucasus (Turkish Private High Schools, private entrepreneurs etc.), in some cases could harm it (Chechen, Çerkez and Abkhaz Diasporas activities) or add a value or a reflection to state’s regional vision (Turkish Civil society’s and economic groups’ links with Armenia). In this sense of power shift process, there are a huge number of special different trends at the micro level, which create their own autonomous interactions with its neighborhood and that heterogeneous character don’t permit us to gather together under the same explicative notions, such as the efficiency of Turkish Soft power.

    Elshan Mustafayev is a Ph.D candidate at Political Institute of Lyon under the supervision of Mohamed-Chérif Ferjani. He pursues his researches at the GREMMO in Lyon and at the French Institute of Anatolian Research (IFEA) in Istanbul.
  • Abstract Gabrielle Angey : The African student’s migration in Turkey : a Challenge for the Gülen Movement

    The African student’s migration in Turkey : a Challenge for the Gülen Movement

    Our paper will try to reintegrate the complexity of realities beyond the often vague concept of Soft Power. In this paper, we argue that the concept of Soft Power if it can be considered as a “category of practice” (used by actors in everyday settings to make sense of themselves, of their activities, of what they share with, and how they differ from, others) can not be accepted as a “category of analysis” (the ‘experience-distant categories used by social analysts’ in an academic context) . In order to do so, we will focus on a Turkish private actor’s strategy of influence: the Gülen Movement. Here we will see how the strategy of influence developed by a private actor, namely the Hizmet movement can be re-appropriated, re-interpreted by African individuals who experience their own trajectory from Africa to Turkey in this very movement. To do so, our presentation will focus on a micro-level study of the migration of African students to Turkey and amongst them on those, schooled in Istanbul, that came through the channel of the Turkish schools (part of the GM) in Africa to pursue their studies in Istanbul. Our thesis is that the migration of those African students in Turkey through the channel of the GM represents a real challenge to the Gülen movement. Indeed the movement’s strategy of “strategic ambiguity” that allows its actors to develop different discourses according to the circles of sociability they are inserting in which has been the key to its success until today, represents here an obstacle in the GM’s strategy of influence of African elites.

    Gabrielle Angey is a PhD student at the EHESS under the supervision of Nathalie Clayer and a grant holder at the IFEA. Her fields of interest are Sociology of Islam, globalization and transnationalization, Turkish and African Studies. She teaches classes of Methodology of Social Sciences at Galatasaray University.
  • Abstract Jan Mus : Low and high level of soft power of the Turkish engagement in Balkans

    Low and high level of soft power of the Turkish engagement in Balkans

    The aim of this article is to propose a division of the core concept of soft-power into two segments. The Turkish engagement in the Balkans should serve as the case study base. Whereas public polls clearly indicate that Turkish culture, values, etc., although popular and interesting for Balkan observers, have rather limited impact on the society in political terms, relative success, strong position and the style of the state governance by prime minister Erdoğan, leave, doubtlessly good impression in the South-East European capitals. Therefore, the Balkan-Turkish relations will serve as an excuse to divide concept of soft power into two following parts: one of them based on genuine social and cultural links between societies (including their leaders) through ideology, culture, media, education, etc.. It can be called “low soft power”. The second one is exercised by means of political domestic and international position (or image) and subsequent influence of the political leaders, measured by their ability to shape political agenda of other states. This one can be called: “high soft power”.

  • Abstract Jana Jabbour : An illusionary ‘power of seduction’: an assessment of Turkey’s soft power capacity in the Arab World

    An illusionary ‘power of seduction’: an assessment of Turkey’s soft power capacity in the Arab World

    This paper aims at exploring Turkey’s soft power capacity in the Arab world/Middle East region. The author first focuses on the concept of soft power as perceived and understood by Turkish policy-makers: through an in-depth analysis of the public discourse of key officials (Gül, Erdoğan, Davutoğlu) and the theoretical works of A. Davutoğlu (specifically his book “Strategic Depth”), the author explains the vision Turkey has of its role and soft power capacity in the world. Having discussed the theoretical framework, the author will then examine the implementation of Turkey’s soft power in the region. In particular, the paper will analyze three specific instruments used by the AKP and various civil society actors to boost Turkey’s influence in the region: a) the practice of public diplomacy and strategic communication to promote a civilizational” discourse and a new narrative about Turkey as a role model; b) the emphasis on education through the Yunus Emre Institutes and the Turkiye Burslari program; c) the use of media instruments, in particular soap operas and TRT Arabic channel, to conquer the “hearts and minds” of Arab populations. The paper will then assess the real impact of these initiatives: by examining the Arab societies’ perceptions of Turkey before and after the Arab Spring, the paper will analyze the extent to which soft power has allowed Turkey to become a regional power. The author argues that soft power has -so far- produced limited outcomes and had few tangible effects as to Turkey’s regional acceptance and its agenda-setting capacity and structural power in the Arab world. The author argues that, beyond “soft power”, Turkey is in need of “smart power” to face the challenges of the “new,” post-Arab Spring Middle East. The paper will be based on a review of available literature on the topic, as well as various interviews and polls conducted by the author in Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates between 2011 and 2013.

    Jana Jabbour is a PhD candidate in International Relations at Sciences Po Paris. Her research focuses on Turkey as a rising power in the Middle East since 2002.
  • Abstract Jean-François Polo : Turkish Sport diplomacy as a tool for a renewed power? Success and limits to Turkish soft power

    Turkish Sport diplomacy as a tool for a renewed power? Success and limits to Turkish soft power.

    L’annonce de l’attribution des Jeux Olympiques 2020 à Tokyo au détriment d’Istanbul le 7 septembre dernier a été ressentie avec beaucoup d’amertume par les autorités politiques du pays qui ont fortement soutenu depuis vingt ans toutes les candidatures précédentes. Il faut préciser qu’à l’issue des visites d’évaluation des villes candidates par le Comité International Olympique, Istanbul était apparue aux yeux des spécialistes comme la favorite. De leur côté, les responsables politiques, en premier lieu le Premier ministre, n’avait pas non plus ménagé leur peine en effectuant un nombre importants de déplacements à l’étranger au cours desquels ils ne manquèrent pas de défendre la candidature turque aux JO 2020. Cette démarche s’inscrit pleinement dans la lignée des efforts entrepris depuis une trentaine d’année par les pouvoirs politiques pour tenter de promouvoir à travers l’événementiel sportif l’image de la Turquie à l’étranger. Si le mouvement sportif revendique son apolitisme, le sport est intégré depuis longtemps aux stratégies diplomatiques que les États déploient sur la scène internationale. A travers la célébration des victoires de leurs athlètes et équipes nationales, les Etats affichent leur volonté de rayonner à l’étranger. De même l’organisation de grandes compétitions sportives internationales sont un moyen de mettre en avant la puissance, la réussite économique, et pourquoi pas, un modèle politique. Le sport est donc une forme particulière de « soft power » par lequel les États tentent de renforcer leur influence internationale. À partir de l’étude des différents investissements politiques du sport par les autorités politiques turques (à travers les candidatures aux grandes compétitions internationales ou la signification donnée à certaines rencontres sportives comme les matchs de football contre l’Arménie de 2008 et 2009), cette communication propose de réfléchir à la notion de soft power appliquée à la politique étrangère turque. On considère que l’instrumentalisation politique du sport permet à la fois de saisir les stratégies des gouvernants et les représentations qu’ils ont de la place de la Turquie sur la scène internationale. On défendra l’hypothèse ici d’un glissement de sens entre les premiers investissements politiques du sport qui visaient à promouvoir la candidature turque à l’ européenne et des usages plus récents qui semblent davantage traduire la volonté d’afficher une puissance retrouvée (ou recherchée) d’un État dont l’avenir et la capacité de rayonner ne dépendrait plus seulement d’une hypothétique intégration européenne.

  • Abstract Jérémie Molho : Regional Ties within an Emerging Art Market Area: Positioning Istanbul as a Hub

    Regional Ties within an Emerging Art Market Area: Positioning Istanbul as a Hub

    The objective of this paper is to analyze Istanbul art world’s recent positioning as a point of attraction for neighboring countries’ art scenes, in the context of the debate on Turkey’s soft power. Drawing on critiques made on Nye’s concept, this paper takes the focus out of state actors and of tools promoting national interests abroad. Instead, it emphasizes urban elites’ role in promoting their city’s international attractiveness and complex regional independencies resulting from complementarities and competition among neighboring cities. The emergence of new artistic polarities in Gulf cities in the years 2000 has pushed Istanbul art scene to develop ties with the Middle East, in order to appear as part of this rising art market area. First, I show which actors were involved in this process, stressing the role of external intermediaries such as international auction houses and international art fairs, which created a channel for exchange and a sense of common interest. I also point out the role of leading foundations and commercial art galleries and present the variety and extent of these new ties. Second, by analyzing discourses from artists and curators involved in this process, I suggest that these international links may influence reciprocally the local art scene. Thus, as opposed to Nye’s conception of soft power as a unidirectional influence, this paper stresses reflexivity and mutual influences resulting from the rise of transnational links in the region.

     

  • Abstract Julien Paris : Turkish series exportation market and its counterflow ‘soft power’ effects

    Turkish series exportation market and its counterflow ‘soft power’ effects

    Through the example of Turkish series production and their international diffusion this paper aims to question the use and limits of the concept of soft power, and more precisely the role given to cultural contents in the definition of soft power given by J. Nye himself. The article begins considering the diversity of public reactions to Turkish series throughout the region surrounding Turkey, showing how such reactions are used in diplomatic speeches or in some scientific papers to prove the evidence of a Turkish soft power. Exploring the mechanisms of audiovisual production in Turkey and diffusion of Turkish series by the private sector on international markets this article shows how the image of the Turkey proposed in its audiovisual production is in fact more a reflection of Turkey’s values as stated in its Constitution than a direct translation of governmental intentions. The latter point conducts us to observe and develop the deep contradictions between in one hand Turkey’s image through its series, and in the other hand the new form of nation-branding of Turkish diplomacy since its shift of axis. The last part finally proposes to reconceptualize the effects of transnational audiovisual contents in foreign policies in terms closer to the field of communication sciences rather than trying to find an alternative within the limits proposed by J. Nye. The paper concludes on the idea soft power is quite ineffective as an analytical category but more likely to solely be able to describe a spectrum of practices of contemporary public diplomacy in a context where the role of nations’ international communication skills increased. 

    Julien Paris is a PhD candidate at the EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France), he's an associated researcher at the LabSIC (Paris 13 University), and has been working at the French Institute of Anatolian Research (IFEA) in Istanbul since 2010. He works on the sociology of the sector of Turkish audiovisual production and transnational diffusion through the example of series production, and on the processes of valorizations of theses cultural contents. He received a scholarship from the CNRS from 2010 to 2013.
  • Abstract Kimberley Bowen Çolakoğlu : Magnificent Century: Turkish Soap Opera as a Source of Soft Power

    Magnificent Century: Turkish Soap Opera as a Source of Soft Power

    Suleiman the Magnificent has conquered the hearts of Belgrade—claims a Serbian blog—via a Turkish soap opera set in the era of his 16th century reign during which he first subdued Belgrade. Another online article states, “Turkish Soaps Drive Macedonians to Istanbul.” Meanwhile, in Istanbul, a noticeable increase in Arab-speaking hopefuls in search of mansions, clothing, or a glimpse of an actor from their favorite Turkish soaps, is evident. Though the question of whether or not the former ‘Ottoman ecumene’ can look to Turkey as a political role model lingers with the tear gas of the Gezi park protests, at prime time the region remains tuned to Turkish television. This paper will examine the export of Turkish television as an inadvertent source of Turkish soft power apart from state initiative and make a call for further research. It focuses specifically on the historic drama “Magnificent Century” (Muhteşem Yüzyıl) which has received criticism through much of its three years of broadcast due to its sensuous depictions of Ottoman palace intricacy.  Despite this and other obstacles, as it began its fourth and final season in September, 2013, the dizi (serial) was broadcast in 54 countries and claimed to attract over 200 million viewers. In this article, I will examine the reception and reach of Turkish soaps, in particular Muhteşem Yüzyıl, by scanning international and domestic response to them. I will discuss the elements of Magnificent Century that attract audience members. I will also take a look at dizi-induced changes in economic and cultural relations with Turkey through changing tourism, fashion, and music taste in audiences of Turkish serials. Interviews with parties in Istanbul and the Balkans, social media monitoring, and a review of English and Turkish journalistic response will survey the playing field and buffer my argument that a Turkish soap does indeed yield soft power—sans the instigation, and very much to the chagrin, of the Turkish State.

  • Abstract Merve Özdemirkıran : The rising role of businessmen in Turkish Foreign policy: case of Turkey’s influence in Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government’s State Building process

    The rising role of businessmen in Turkish Foreign policy: case of Turkey’s influence in Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government’s State Building process

    Despite political taboos in Turkish Foreign Policy towards the formation of a Kurdish state in the Middle East Turkey adopted a particular position when Iraqi Kurds started the Kurdish State building process in 2005 when the new Iraqi Constitution was proclaimed. Since the recognition of the Iraqi Constitution that gave to the Kurds not only political autonomy but also economic independence, Turkey has become the main actor in the State Building process of the Kurdish autonomous region. Businessmen form Turkey, Turks and Kurds, are contributing to the physical infrastructure of this quasi state. Turkey is involved in the KRG’s State Building process through the activities of businessmen who built a bridge between Turkey and the KRG and they have given rise to bilateral political relations. They are building bridges, highways, airports, universities in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Turkish language is gradually becoming the dominant language of the shops’ boards, of the “business” in general. Furthermore, the majority of the food and any other type of product are exported from Turkey. Indeed, Iraq quickly became the fourth economic partner of Turkey: Turkish-Iraqi trade reaches over $ 7 billion and according to the Turkish consulate’s statistics in Erbil, 65% of this trade is concretely with the KRG. The role that these businessmen play in Turkey’s implication in the State formation process of the KRG illustrates the status of the economic interdependence in Turkey’s foreign policy and shows how the state applies itself to economic activity in order to attain its foreign policy objectives. Their activities furnish solid empirical data to further analyze Turkey’s regional policy as a Trading State, to show how the economy and the economic stakeholders are mobilized in the politics of a state vis-à-vis their “new” neighbour with whom security conflicts are not yet resolved. In other words Turkey’s position towards the Kurdish state formation is an explicative example to the use of the soft power as a central tool in Foreign Policy. All these elements confirms that Turkish state uses business activities as a strategic tool of its soft power in the region, but their activities also allow one to explain how the businessmen are able to influence the politics of the state while shielded from an emerging neighbour state, in order to guarantee the survival and the continuation of their business, in other terms, how they impose themselves in the decision-making process of foreign policy. The particular case of Kurdish businessmen from Turkey who were a relatively marginalized group because of their appurtenance to an ethnic minority, gain a new status towards the state. The will of Turkish foreign policy makers to enforce the soft power through the economic activities has a parallel consequence on a particular group of actor. This phenomena needs to be explained in the general context of the Turkey’s position in world politics. This paper aims to show through the case of Turkey’s Kurdish businessmen in KRG how the concept of soft power gains a larger definition, beyond the state’s one, and becomes also a tool for non state actors to enlarge their influence in politics.

    Merve Özdemirkıran works as assistant professor at Bahçesehir University Istanbul and is currently visiting researcher at Center for International Studies and Research of Sciences Po Paris. She obtained her PhD degree from Sciences Po in June 2013 with her PhD thesis “Building a State, breaking taboos. Turkey’s businessmen between the state building process of Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and Turkish foreign policy” under the supervision of Riva Kastoryano. During her PhD she worked as the assistant of contemporary Turkey research group of the Centre for International Study and Research (CERI/CNRS). Her research interests include non-state and transnational actors’ role in international politics, state building process, foreign policy decision making and the relations between State and non-state actors. She has fieldwork experience in Southeast Turkey and Northern Iraq. From 2010 until 2013, Merve Özdemirkıran taught elective courses at Sciences Po Paris on Middle East, Turkey and American Foreign Policy. She also taught at University Paris 13 on transformation of modern democracies. At Bahçesehir, she teaches Introduction to International Relations and Theories of International Relations.
  • Abstract Yohanan Benhaim : The Hizmet Movement as a softpower tool in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: between foreign policy and domestic politics

    The Hizmet Movement as a softpower tool in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq:
    between foreign policy and domestic politics

    This presentation is an attempt to understand the articulation and interdependency existing between soft power and domestic politics. Our main hypothesis is that important interdependency links exist between domestic policies implemented on the state’s own territory and the soft power’s policy, especially in a context of strong transnational dynamics. In order to verify this hypothesis, we will study the role played by the Hizmet movement, and more specifically by the Fezalar schools, in the shaping of Turkish foreign policy towards the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Indeed the evolution of Turkish foreign policy towards Iraqi Kurdistan determines the implantation of the movement. Besides, the Kurdish issue in Turkey is of great importance in understanding the implantation of the Hizmet movement in Kurdish populated areas on the two sides of the border. Beyond the issue of the eventual positive repercussion on Turkish soft power, it seems that the policy of the movement is participating to the increasing transnational dynamics of the region and contributes in this sense to blur the limits between foreign and domestic policies.  
     
    Yohanan Benhaim is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne University. He is based at the French Institute of Anatolian Studies (IFEA) in Istanbul which granted him an academic scholarship. His PhD thesis explores the evolution of Turkish foreign policy in Iraqi Kurdistan since the 1990′s to nowadays and its relations with the development in Turkish domestic politics.
  • Beyond soft power: The stakes and configurations of the influence of contemporary Turkey in the world : 8-9/1/14

    sticker soft power

    PRACTICAL INFORMATIONS :    

    Language : English                     
    Place : IFEA / Conference room                  
    Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    This worshop benefited from a support of the French National Agency of Research (ANR) with the reference ANR-12-GLOB-003, "Matières à transfaire. Espaces-temps d'une globalisation (post-) ottomane"

    PROGRAM :    

    DAY 1 /  January 08th 2014

    09:00   Opening to the public                 
    09:30   Opening of the workshop by : Élise MASSICARD / CNRS - IFEA       
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/01_Elise_Massicard{/mp3}
                                         
    ////////   1st PANEL :  Private actors producing and receiving Turkish soft power : relationships to the Turkish state
                                         
    10:00    Moderator : Talha KÖSE / Istanbul Şehir University  
    10:05    Charly DELMAS TSAFACK / International relations institute of Cameroon : 
                “The Amity International school network in Cameroon
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/02_Charly_Delmas_Tsafack{/mp3}
     
    10:30    Jan MUŚ / Center for Eastern Studies -
                Catholic University of Lublin - Warsaw School of Social Science and Humanities :
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/03_ Jan_Mus{/mp3}
     
    10:55    coffee break          
    11:10    Merve ÖZDEMIRKIRAN / Sciences Po Paris – CERI :
                "The rising role of businessmen in Turkish Foreign policy:
                case of Turkey’s influence in Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government’s State Building process"
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/04_Merve_Ozdemirkiran {/mp3}
     
    11:35    Moderator’s speech                
    11:45    Questions of the public         
    12:15    Lunch break
                                         
    ////////   2d PANEL :    Diffusion, circulation and backfires of Turkey’s influence          
                                         
    14:00    Moderator : Zeynep ATALAY  / St. Mary's College of California    
    14:05    Gabrielle ANGEY  / EHESS – IFEA :
                “African students' mobilities in Turkey: A Challenge for the Gülen Movement
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/05_Gabrielle_Angey_b{/mp3}
     
    14:30    Yohanan BENHAIM / Paris 1 University – IFEA :
                
    "The Hizmet Movement as a softpower tool in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: 
                between foreign policy and domestic politics"
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/06_Yohanan_Benhaim{/mp3}
     
    14:55    Jérémie MOLHO  / Angers University – IFEA :
                Regional networks in an emerging art market area : positionning Istanbul as a Hub
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/07_Jeremie_Molho{/mp3}
     
    15:10    coffee break
    15:25    Elshan MUSTAFAYEV  / Sciences Po Lyon – IFEA :
                Major assets for Turkish diplomacy in the Caucasus and question of the "background"
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/08_Elshan_Mustafayev{/mp3}
     
    15:50    Behar SADRIU / School of Oriental and African Studies – University of London :  
                Networks of Influence: Reconceptualising Soft Power
    16:15    Moderator’s speech      
    16:25    Questions of the public
    17:00    Dinner with the speakers        
                                               

    DAY 2 / January 09th 2014

    09:00   Opening to the public                 
                                         
    ////////   3rd PANEL :  Diversity of the Turkish soft power's vectors                   
                                         
    09:30    Moderator : Ayhan  KAYA / Bilgi University   
    09:35    Kimberley BOWEN ÇOLAKOĞLU / Istanbul Technical University :
                Magnificent Century: Turkish Soap Opera as a Source of Soft Power
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/10_Kimberley_Bowen_Colakoglu{/mp3}
     
    10:00    Janna JABBOUR /Sciences Po – CERI :
                "An illusionary ‘power of seduction’: an assessment of Turkey’s soft power capacity in the Arab World"
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/11_Janna_Jabbour{/mp3}
     
    10:25    coffee break
    10:40    Julien PARIS / EHESS – IFEA  :
                Turkish series exportation market and its counterflow ‘soft power’ effects
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/12_ Julien_Paris{/mp3}
     
    11:05    Jean-Francois POLO / Sciences Po Rennes - CRAPE - Galatasaray University  :
                "Turkish sport diplomacy as a tool for a renewed power ? Success and limits to Turkish “soft power"
    {mp3}julien/Soft_power/mp3/13_Jean_Francois_Polo{/mp3}
     
    11:30    Moderator’s speech      
    11:40    Questions of the public
    12:10    Conclusion by : Kerem ÖKTEM / University of Oxford
    12:45    Lunch break
    15:00    End of the 3rd panel / Round table and synthesis and future plans /
                Discussion of the speakers with the moderators
     

    PRESENTATION

    This project consists in the organization of 3 half-day research workshops on the theme of Turkish political and cultural influence in the world at the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA) in January 2014. The language used will be English.

    Today Turkey differentiates itself by its growing diplomatic and cultural influence. This influence, even if it is not comparable with that of China or the USA, has been expanding for several decades in the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia, even in Africa and is also noticeable in Ankara’s involvement in international organizations. This increasing influence has been highlighted by the Arab Spring, which has created an environment conducive to the idealization of Turkey’s model of governance (the « Turkish model ») and to its promotion by Western powers. Turkey’s attractiveness is also based on its substantial economic development contrasting with the economic crisis European countries are suffering from, and on its increasing cultural presence in the media (notably through the broadcasting of TV shows outside Turkey), especially in neighboring countries who share cultural affinities with Turkey. However, this influence used by Ankara within the framework of a self-promoting discourse has started to be questioned in the past few months due to both regional and domestic developments. Indeed, the degradation of the situation in Syria and in Iraq has limited the influence of Ankara on neighboring actors while the Gezi park demonstrations and its repression are casting doubts on Turkey’s ability to be a source of inspiration for the region.

    How can analytical tools help us characterize today’s Turkey’s influence and its limits? The concept of “soft power” created by Joseph Nye in 1990 was an attempt to theorize mechanisms and conditions of this kind of influence, contesting the idea that war was the only source of power of the nation-states. It was highlighting the use by states of non- coercive means in conflict resolution, in decision-making in the international sphere, or in order to gain economical attractiveness. This concept was widely used in academic research, media, and in the public sphere. Yet, this concept received several types of criticism among which two can be emphasized concerning our case study. Firstly, the core of the concept of “soft power” mainly focuses on the role of the State, in particular because the theory, at the time it was created, applied to the USA. Thus the State is considered as the main actor and beneficiary from such an influence, and makes “soft power” dependent on the ability of the State to use diverse tools in order to expand its influence. This state-centered perspective, in which the State remains the only instigator of the interest of the country, has been strongly criticized. Such an analysis denies both the role and the capacity of private initiative and transnational dynamics to influence international relations. The second criticism addressed to the concept of soft power concerns the consequences of its success: the term “soft power” is now used to characterize tools, practices, or groups of actors through multi or antagonistic meanings. Therefore its interest as a concept would be undermined by its own polysemy.

    The methodological and analytical consequences we could draw from these statements are that such uses of the concept of “soft power” tend to maintain and create shortcuts where the limits between concept and ideology become blurred, where the labelization of a dynamic as “soft power” becomes a political stake, and where analysis, causes and effects, actors and vectors, scales and contexts, theoretical and empirical dimensions are not distinguished. This workshop project intends to answer the need for a redefinition of the concept of “soft power” and its value as an analytical concept. It will also be an opportunity to characterize the different types and modalities of Turkey’s influence, which could lead to the production of new conceptual tools, more adapted to Turkey’s current situation.

    This workshop aims at raising several questions: To what extent is the concept of “soft power” adequate to characterize Turkey’s influence and its weaknesses both on the international stage and towards its neighboring countries? Reciprocally, how can the analysis of the different patterns of Turkey’s influence help us question the concept of “soft power”, and to come up with other notions?In the framework of this workshop, we will propose to explore the influence of Turkey through several axes (which are not exhaustive):

    • The discourse of soft power within Turkish diplomacy and para-diplomacy;
    • State institutions promoting Turkey’s influence abroad;
    • The role of private actors and civil society in Turkish influence abroad;
    • The territorial logics of Turkish soft power: the role of infranational and
    • supranational entities;
    • The economic dimension of Turkish “soft power”;
    • Various instruments of Turkish “soft power”: education, culture, media...;
    • Religion in Turkish foreign policy;
    • Regional and domestic limits of Turkey’s “softpower”
     

    ABSTRACTS :    

    Please click on the titles of the panelists in the program above, or click here to have a full view of the abstracts 

    Click here to download the program in pdf format

      

    SCIENTIFIC AND ORGANIZING COMMITTEE :

    Élise Massicard (CNRS/IFEA/OVIPOT)
    Gabrielle Angey (EHESS/IFEA)
    Julien Paris (EHESS/IFEA)
    Jérémie Molho (Université d’Angers/IFEA)
    Elshan Mustafayev (Sciences Po Grenoble/IFEA) 
    Yohanan Benhaïm (Paris I/IFEA)

  • Call for proposals / Research Workshop : « Beyond soft power: The stakes and configurations of the influence of contemporary Turkey in the world » / January 8th and 9th 2014

    Call for proposals

    Research Workshop

    « Beyond soft power: The stakes and configurations of the influence of contemporary Turkey in the world »

    January 8th and 9th 2014

    French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA), Istanbul

     

    I. PRESENTATION

    This project consists in the organization of 3 half-day research workshops on the theme of Turkish political and cultural influence in the world at the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA) in January 2014.The language used will be English.

    Today Turkey differentiates itself by its growing diplomatic and cultural influence. This influence, even if it is not comparable with that of China or the USA, has been expanding for several decades in the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia, even in Africa and is also noticeable in Ankara’s involvement in international organizations. This increasing influence has been highlighted by the Arab Spring, which has created an environment conducive to the idealization of Turkey’s model of governance (the « Turkish model ») and to its promotion by Western powers. Turkey’s attractiveness is also based on its substantial economic development contrasting with the economic crisis European countries are suffering from, and on its increasing cultural presence in the media (notably through the broadcasting of TV shows outside Turkey), especially in neighboring countries who share cultural affinities with Turkey. However, this influence used by Ankara within the framework of a self-promoting discourse has started to be questioned in the past few months due to both regional and domestic developments. Indeed, the degradation of the situation in Syria and in Iraq has limited the influence of Ankara on neighboring actors while the Gezi park demonstrations and its repression are casting doubts on Turkey’s ability to be a source of inspiration for the region. 

    How can analytical tools help us characterize today’s Turkey’s influence and its limits? The concept of “soft power” created by Joseph Nye in 1990 was an attempt to theorize mechanisms and conditions of this kind of influence, contesting the idea that war was the only source of power of the nation-states. It was highlighting the use by states of non-coercive means in conflict resolution, in decision-making in the international sphere, or in order to gain economical attractiveness. This concept was widely used in academic research, media, and in the public sphere. Yet, this concept received several types of criticism among which two can be emphasized concerning our case study. Firstly, the core of the concept of “soft power” mainly focuses on the role of the State, in particular because the theory, at the time it was created, applied to the USA. Thus the State is considered as the main actor and beneficiary from such an influence, and makes “soft power” dependent on the ability of the State to use diverse tools in order to expand its influence. This state-centered perspective, in which the State remains the only instigator of the interest of the country, has been strongly criticized. Such an analysis denies both the role and the capacity of private initiative and transnational dynamics to influence international relations. The second criticism addressed to the concept of soft power concerns the consequences of its success: the term “soft power” is now used to characterize tools, practices, or groups of actors through multi or antagonistic meanings. Therefore its interest as a concept would be undermined by its own polysemy.

    The methodological and analytical consequences we could draw from these statements are that such uses of the concept of “soft power” tend to maintain and create shortcuts where the limits between concept and ideology become blurred, where the labelization of a dynamic as “soft power” becomes a political stake, and where analysis, causes and effects, actors and vectors, scales and contexts, theoretical and empirical dimensions are not distinguished. This workshop project intends to answer the need for a redefinition of the concept of “soft power” and its value as an analytical concept. It will also be an opportunity to characterize the different types and modalities of Turkey’s influence, which could lead to the production of new conceptual tools, more adapted to Turkey’s current situation.

    This workshop aims at raising several questions: To what extent is the concept of “soft power” adequate to characterize Turkey’s influence and its weaknesses both on the international stage and towards its neighboring countries? Reciprocally, how can the analysis of the different patterns of Turkey’s influence help us question the concept of “soft power”, and to come up with other notions?

    In the framework of this workshop, we will propose to explore the influence of Turkey through several axes (which are not exhaustive).

      • The discourse of soft power within Turkish diplomacy and para-diplomacy;
      • State institutions promoting Turkey’s influence abroad;
      • The role of private actors and civil society in Turkish influence abroad;
      • The territorial logics of Turkish soft power: the role of infranational and supranational entities;
      • The economic dimension of Turkish “soft power”;
      • Various instruments of Turkish “soft power”: education, culture, media…;
      • Religion in Turkish foreign policy;
      • Regional and domestic limits of Turkey’s “softpower”

    II.PRACTICAL INFORMATION

    a) Objectives of the workshop

      • Scientific debates on the topic of “soft power” and its applicability to contemporary Turkey;
      • Promotion of young scholars along with recognized academics;
      • Creating a network of academics working on these fields;

    The workshop will take place at the French Institute for Anatolian Studies in Istanbul (IFEA). The language spoken will be English. Communicants’ transportation and housing fees will be covered

    b)  Abstracts and proposals

    This workshop aims at highlighting the research of young scholars, with a focus put on topics sustained by strong field research. 

    Abstracts should not exceed 400 words. They have to be sent with a C.Vbefore September 20th to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    All abstracts should be submitted in English and in Word format(Times New Roman, 12). Acceptance will be notified by early October.

    Selected participants will be asked to submit their complete article before December 15th, 2013.Papers shall not exceed 40 000 signs(including spaces, notes and bibliography). The papers presented during the conference will be examined by the scientific committee for possible publication.

     c) Scientific and organizing Committee

    Elise Massicard (CNRS/IFEA/OVIPOT)
    Gabrielle Angey (EHESS/IFEA)
    Julien Paris (EHESS/IFEA)
    Jérémie Molho (Université d’Angers/IFEA)
    Elshan Mustafayev (Sciences Po Grenoble/IFEA)
    Yohanan Benhaïm (Paris I/IFEA)

    III. CALENDAR:

    • September 20th, 2013: deadline for submitting abstracts;
    • Early October2013: proposals’ selection and notification sent to presenters  
    • December 15th,2013: submission of discussants’ papers;
    • January 8th and 9th, 2014: Workshop « Beyond soft power: The stakes and configurations of the influence of contemporary Turkey in the world ».

     IV. WEBLINK:

  • EJTS 21 | Beyond Soft Power. The stakes and configurations of the influence of contemporary Turkey in the world

    Beyond Soft Power. The stakes and configurations of the influence of contemporary Turkey in the world  is the 21st installment of the European Journal of Turkish Studies athttp://ejts.revues.org/5219

    Edited by Jérémie Molho and Gabrielle Angey, this issue offers a critical approach to soft power.

  • G. Angey, Y. Benhaïm "Décharge et dévolution: softpower et politique étrangère de la Turquie" 26/03/14

    Séminaire "Transfaire"
    Mercredi 26 mars 2014 à 10h à l'IFEA
    Gabrielle Angey (EHESS (CETOBAC), Yohanan Benhaïm (Université Paris I)
    "Décharge et dévolution: softpower et politique étrangère de la Turquie"
    Interventions en français. Sur invitation

  • J. Paris - Succès et déboires des séries télévisées turques à l’international. Une influence remise en question

    Julien Paris « Succès et déboires des séries télévisées turques à l'international. Une influence remise en question. », Hérodote 1/2013 (n° 148), p. 156-170.
    URL : www.cairn.info/revue-herodote-2013-1-page-156.htm
    DOI : 10.3917/her.148.0156.

    Vieux d’à peine une dizaine d’années, le succès des séries turques à l’international connaît aujourd’hui un tournant : aux performances en termes commercial et d’audience succède une multiplication des réactions venues des pays voisins. En prenant d’abord pour exemple le cas de la diffusion de feuilletons turcs en Grèce et ses effets supposés bénéfiques au « soft power » turc (1), cet article tente d’analyser les atouts et les mécanismes permettant aux fictions audiovisuelles de s’insérer dans un marché régional spécifique en termes de contenus culturels (2), pour enfin constater que les valeurs véhiculées dans ces séries – et qui constituent leurs atouts – sont à la base même des critiques que subit la Turquie sur la scène diplomatique régionale, ce sur plusieurs fronts et dans différents registres (3).

     

  • J.-F. Polo : Quand l’événement sportif révèle l’événement politique. Les matchs de football entre la Turquie et l’Arménie (2008-2009)

    Jean-François Polo, "Quand l’événement sportif révèle l’événement politique. Les matchs de football entre la Turquie et l’Arménie (2008-2009)" Sciences sociales et sport 2013/1 (N° 6) [En ligne] URL :http://dx.doi.org/10.3917/rsss.006.0151

    Les deux matchs éliminatoires de la coupe du monde 2010 entre la Turquie et l'Arménie ont donné lieu aux premiers déplacements officiels des deux chefs d'État dans le pays de l'autre alors que leurs relations diplomatiques avaient été rompues depuis 1991. Les espoirs soulevés par ces deux visites ont provoqué des débats passionnés dans la société turque et ravivé les questions douloureuses et non réglées du génocide arménien et de la minorité arménienne de Turquie. Cette contribution analyse cet événement et cherche à saisir la signification sociale et politique de l'émotion qu'il a pu susciter.