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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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6. Conclusion

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The study of Euroscepticism so far has included mainly two specific areas: party-based Euroscepticism and public Euroscepticism. What this study aimed to articulate is the need to focus on civil society in addition to national party systems and public opinion, as non-party actors have an important function in shaping the general EU discourse (Fitzgibbon 2013:105). Moreover, analysis of civil-society-based Euroscepticism, of the way it develops and the content of the grievances it addresses to European integration and the EU are vital to a sound diagnosis of the crisis of confidence faced by the EU. In Turkey, as well civil-society based argumentative strategies on the EU are also operative and influential. The study examined the construction of Eurosceptic discourses in the civil society discourse, focussing on Turkey’s possible membership of the EU, on-going struggles between different political camps in Turkey and the general Western discourse. Notwithstanding the fact that the CSOs are not homogenous entities and have different opinions with regard to Europe, the leadership is considered to be crucial and the most important locus where discursive strategies are determined. Based on the theoretical assumptions of the Euroscepticism research, Occidentalism literature and Gramscian approach to civil society as well as on the referential/nomination, argumentation and predication strategies, and the CDA’s perspectivation and migration strategies, it has been found that there are multiple Eurosceptical argumentation strategies in the discourses varying according to ideological background and pro-AKP and anti-AKP positioning within the scope of the study. Euroscepticism may take several...

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