Orientalism in Turkish Political Election Campaigns

Orientalism in Turkish Political Election Campaigns

Cudi Kaan Okmeydan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7180-4.ch028
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This chapter studies the use of orientalist elements in advertisements of Turkish political parties as a reaction to the orientalist approach of the West, based on examples. It is observed that especially the right-wing parties frequently use orientalist elements in political advertisements during election periods in Turkey. These orientalist elements usually consist of large historical mosque figures and Ottoman motives. However, these orientalist elements are presented together with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkish satellites, unmanned aircraft, and modern city views to establish a connection between the past and future and show developed and contemporary aspects of Turkey. Thus, it is hinted to the West that a Muslim country taking pride in its past can also be a contemporary and developed country. The present study is focused on orientalism reflections in Turkish political election campaigns and aims to reveal orientalist elements and orientalist perspective that are common in election campaigns.
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Political communication would exist in a society when governors and governed people exist in that society. Therefore, it is possible to trace the history of the concept of political communication back to the emergence of the first ruling class. Although the name “political communication” was not used in Ancient Greece, it is known that those who govern the society used political communication methods and techniques (Aziz, 2011: 3). Forums and people’s assembly attended by citizens in the Ancient Greek; speeches of senators for the public and attempts to establish good relations with the public for getting their support in ancient Rome (Strömbäck and Kiousis, 2011: 2); organization of meetings with the public by Osman and Orhan, first sultans of the Ottoman Empire and effort of sultans in listening to wishes, complaints and recommendations of the public in person (Kazancı, 2006: 6) are deemed political communication activities of the period even though they are not named as such.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Orientalism: An academic discipline that exploring the East as well as a disinformative approach to the East.

Political Poster: Print media consisting of a catchy slogan or text with a striking visual designed to convey a political message.

Othering: To glorify your own values by denigrating others.

Politics and Media: It refers to the use and types of media as a political communication tool.

Imperialism: A modern colonialism and colonization understanding.

Edward W. Said: Palestinian American academic, political activist, and literary critic who examined literature in light of social and cultural politics.

Political Communication: It is the interaction of government, political parties, and political actors with voters for various political purposes.

Political Advertising: Paid promotional tools used by the political party or political actor to convey the political message and persuade the voters.

Turkish Political Life: Includes a brief history and development of Turkish politics.

Self-Orientalism: It is that citizens in a country evaluate and understand themselves through the eyes of the West and judge themselves with the views of the West.

Stereotyping: A group of people who stigmatizing and generalizing to another group of people.

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