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Dynamics of youth euroscepticism

2005
Küçükural, Önder
The aim of this thesis is to describe the dominant features of Euroscepticism in Turkish context and to understand its main dynamics with special reference to a particular group, the youth in Turkey. A field research was conducted in order to understand youth̕s EU support. The field research involved a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques in order to attain multi-layered perspectives on Euroscepticism. The research is representative at a country-scale and the participants were 4542 senior students of high schools in twelve cities of Turkey. One of the striking findings of the research was the high percentage of Euro-optimists when the survey was applied and the dominance of Eurosceptic discourse during one to one and group interviews. According to the research results two strands appear to be dominant in youth̕s Euroscepticism. The first is moral degeneration discourse that is articulated by a threat perception to Turkey̕s culture and lifestyle. The second one is nationalist discourse that is expressed by threat perception to the unity and integrity of the nation and the state. Considering the main motivation of the youth in their appropriation of these two discourses I argued that the identity theories provide plausible explanations for the understanding of this phenomenon. The identity is formed around the أweؤ concepts that are mainly derived from Turkish nationalism and culture. Besides, the Turkish state̕s founding principles and the atmosphere created during the 80̕s and onwards seems to contribute to this construction.