Constructions of European identity : debates and discourses by Senem Ayd?n-Düzgit

By Senem Ayd?n-Düzgit

This publication examines ecu discourses on Turkey within the eu fee, eu Parliament and 3 european member states (France, Germany and Britain), to bare the discursive building of eu id via european representations of Turkey. according to a poststructuralist framework that conceptualizes id as discursively built via distinction, the publication applies severe Discourse research to the research of texts and argues that there are a number of Europe(s) which are developed in talks over the expansion of Turkey, various inside of and among various ideological, nationwide and institutional contexts. The publication discerns 4 major discourse issues over which those Europe(s) are built, akin to the conceptualization of Europe as a safety group, as an upholder of democratic values, as a political venture and as a cultural house. The booklet argues that Turkey constitutes a key case in exploring quite a few discursive constructs of ecu id, because the talks on Turkey pave the best way for the development of other models of Europe in discourse.

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This is found to be particularly the case for the conceptualisation of the notions of ‘culture’ and ‘multiculturalism’, where, despite the focus on diversity, unity is still sought in the extent to which the ‘substantial’ notions of ‘culture’ such as religion are expressed in society. The chapter also displays national/institutional variances in this construct, such as the identification of a clear distinction between a mythic Europe based on a common culture, history, a (rather flexible) geography and a Europe as a political project of nation-states in most of British discourse.

Both excerpts however further demonstrate that the inclusion of Turkey on the basis of (constructed) security interests should not be taken as an indication that the country is constructed as European. In the first excerpt, Turkey is not a part of, but a ‘friend’ of ‘Europe’, whereas the second excerpt constructs it as strongly ‘attached’ to Europe and the West. In both cases, a binary opposition is constructed between Turkey and Europe. Binary oppositions do not just oversimplify the world, but they also establish relations of power between its poles.

But on the other hand, I share the perception that it could have some influence on some countries in the Middle East, and to democratise them and for this, Turkey is an example. And yeah I see problems with all these countries at the moment, the neighbours like Syria and others, who are more or less dictatorial regimes. Indeed, some like Iran, they are supporting suicide bombers in Israel. As also seen in the excerpt above, a stable Turkey as a security asset is argued to have a preventive impact of the conflict of cultures and civilisations via providing a ‘model’ for the Southern neighbourhood countries.

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