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The Pendulum of Majoritarianism: Turkey’s Governmental Self-Identity and Turkish–Egyptian Relations

Mustafa Onur Tetik


Turkey’s relations with Egypt abruptly hit rock bottom following the Egyptian army’s ousting of Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. Despite significant political fluctuations between the two countries, there is a gap in academic literature about addressing alterations in Turkish–Egyptian relations holistically. To this end, this article proposes that Turkey’s volatile relationship with the Egyptian governments since the so-called Arab Spring is partially a reflection of broader institutional changes in Turkey’s domestic settings. One of these salient changes is the discursive transformation of Turkish national self-perception. This article shows how Turkey’s new governmental self-understanding of “majoritarianism” manifests in its relations with Egypt. It asserts that this transformation in the governmental perception of the national-self made Turkey’s policies on Egypt, which oscillate between one extreme to another, “conceivable/thinkable” via the medium of national identity discourses. It shows the interplay between the governmental identity discourses of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) elites and Turkey’s policies on Egypt in the institutional/non-discursive foreign policy field.

Keywords: Arab Spring, discourse analysis, national identity, Turkey–Egypt relations, Turkish Foreign Policy

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pp. 210–235