Imagining Self and The Other: The Case of American Imagination of Turks

Koç, Zeynep Elif
The bipolar world right after the Second World War has commonly been described as a war that never ended up with a physical conflict between the two polars. However, for some, it was a cultural war, namely, a ―cultural Cold War‖. That is to say, actual conflict between the USSR and the United States (US) was on the grounds of an ideological and cultural clash, rather than a military clash between armies. The main weapon of the US, therefore, was its way of life, the ideas it stood for. On such basis, this study problematized Turkey‘s position within the cultural Cold War of the US. It argues that the image of Turks/Turkey in popular printed press was shaped by the cultural dichotomy that the US has constructed since the very beginning of the Cold War. In order to understand this perception toward Turks/Turkey, this study aimed at first, to understand the American self, and then point out the identity of Turks in relation to it. Popular discourse within the most circulated newspapers and magazines published between 1945 and 1991, were traced and analyzed using Hansen‘s Model 3A discourse analysis on cultural representations. As a result, it was concluded that even though the Turkish image in the US during the Cold War shared a lot in common with historical European/Western imagination, it also differentiated from it by contributing some positive attributions to that image stemming from a stern alliance vis-à-vis the Soviet threat in the same time period.
Citation Formats
Z. E. Koç, “Imagining Self and The Other: The Case of American Imagination of Turks,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2024.