Representation of turkey in the italian media: between Islam and Europe

Marcellini, Margherita
This thesis aims to examine the representation of Turkey by the Italian newspapers in order to determine: a) if it is a stereotyped and ill-informed representation of Turkey, in parallel to the low level knowledge of the Italian public on Turkey; b) if there is a convergence among political agenda on Turkey and the media on Turkey; c) whether Islam is being inserted to the construction of Turkish perception by the Italian media. According to the Transatlantic Trends Surveys of the past years, it appears that the Italians have a confused image and limited knowledge of Turkey and its membership to the EU. On the political level, the government official position is supportive of Turkish membership into the EU. At the political party level, the opinions on this matter are diverse, principally depending on the political positions of the parties. This thesis argues that Turkey being Muslim-majority country, the perception of Islam plays an important role in shaping Turkish image in the Italians‟ minds. Thus, to elaborate better on the reasons of this situation, the Italian mass media is analysed as the principal resource of information. Several studies about the effects of mass media on public opinion contain the unspoken assumption that a linear relationship exists between the quantity of media reports and the opinions of the population. Thus, it is argued that the Italian public opinion on Turkey is highly related on the media coverage and, most important, on how it is addressed. Plus, it is also argued that the media agenda has major similarities with the political agenda, certain media outlets reflecting and repeating the positions of related political parties. This study, with its analysis of Italian newspapers, concludes that the representation of Turkey in the newspapers is limited in its informative content; dominantly includes Islam as a major component in its representation of Turkey and finally, when covering news on Turkey and analysing Turkish EU relations, newspapers with links to politics tend to repeat and reflect the positions of related political parties on Turkey.


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Citation Formats
M. Marcellini, “ Representation of turkey in the italian media: between Islam and Europe ,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.