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Euroscepticism in Turkey

Power and Beyond

Can Büyükbay

This book examines the construction of Euroscepticism in civil society discourse, focusing on Turkey’s possible EU-membership, the ongoing political struggles between different political camps in Turkey and general Western discourse. Applying semi-structured qualitative interviews with Civil Society Organisation leaders and Critical Discourse Analysis, the study shows how civil society leaders evaluate Europe and the European Integration of Turkey. It appears that there are multiple Eurosceptical argumentation strategies in the discourses varying according to ideological background and pro-government and anti-government positioning.
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5. Classification of the Discourses


In this chapter, I shall classify the discourses of the CSOs according to the model of Kopecky and Mudde (2002) to their respective positions. In doing so, I will make use of the analysis of the interviews and surveys I conducted at the end of the interviews with the CSO leaders and aim to increase the internal validity of the results. At this level, I will map the particular lenses I found in discourses based on political, utilitarian, cultural considerations, general attitudes towards Europe, domestic power struggles, the attitude of the EU towards Turkey, or context-based factors specific to actors’ field of interest in a narrow and broader sense.122

The two-dimensional conceptualisation of positions on European integration in general and of the EU in particular is helpful to distinguish the ideological and strategic differentiations for explaining Euroscepticism. This conceptual scheme enables one to differentiate opposition to Europe in general and Euroscepticism in particular. However, the criteria for classification in a certain category should be modified in Turkish case because general attitudes towards Europe also play a major role. It is not enough to accept a certain degree of pooling of sovereignity towards organs of the EU in both economic and political terms, to be labelled as Europhile. As Kopecky and Mudde state in the following:

We believe that our conceptual scheme offers a good analytical tool for understanding the goals and strategies of political elites opposing Europe…We do not define Euroscepticism in essentialist...

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