The Rise and Fall Of Turkish Soft Power and Public Diplomacy

EKŞİ M., Erol M. S.

GAZI AKADEMIK BAKIS-GAZI ACADEMIC VIEW, vol.11, no.23, pp.15-45, 2018 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 23
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-45
  • Keywords: Public Diplomacy, Soft Power, AK Party, Turkish Foreign Policy, Middle East, MIDDLE-EAST


This article explores Turkey's public diplomacy and soft power policies under the government of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) over the period of 2003 to 2016. Thus, Turkish foreign policy is analysed within the framework of soft power policy and the new institutional design of the country's public diplomacy. The main research questions of the study are as follows: "What are Turkey's public diplomacy mechanisms and instruments, and furthermore, why did Turkey begin to implement public diplomacy under the JDP governments? Additionally, how does Turkey implement soft power policies in line with the new foreign policy doctrine?" The study has two fundamental arguments: First, the JDP leaders' ambition to become a regional power and the leader of the Middle East and Muslim world has played the chief role in pushing forward with public diplomacy and soft power policies. Secondly, the new vision and identity of the ruling party leaders have been effective in the transformation process for a shift towards soft power and public diplomacy in new foreign policy doctrine within a modern understanding. In this context, the JDP rule initiated public diplomacy and soft power policies until the Arab Spring, which era could characterize the rise of Turkish soft power. However, Turkish soft power began to fall particularly in the wake of the Syrian crisis.