An Analysis of the national will discourse of Erdoğan: from ‘nation-as-one’ to nation as us

Oral, Bahar
This thesis has produced for analyzing the national will discourse of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the chairman of JDP and Prime Minister of Turkish Republic between the years of 2002-2014. National will concept is thought to be one of the constitutive components of Erdoğan’s discourse and it is observed that this concept is overused by Erdoğan. Whilst working on this subject, the French thinker Claude Lefort’s theory, he theory of ‘empty space of power’ has utilized. According to this theory, power which had been rest in the absolute monarch before the modern era, has taken from him with the ideal of popular sovereignty and left to the people as abstract masses. In other words the place of power is emptied in 20th century systems and power becomes the power of nobody. Lefort asserts that this emptied space of power is convenient to be filled by a party or a person who is capable of constituting a discourse through which he identified himself with nation or people . It is asserted in this thesis that, in Turkish case, the discourse indicating by Lefort, is the national will discourse of Erdoğan. For grounding this assertion, firstly the political history has written with taking the concepts of power, popular sovereignty, nation and national will as base, then the Turkish episode of the concept has put with considering center right political tradition until the occurrence of JDP, and finally all the speeches of Erdoğan from its 11 years power term has subjected to the discourse analysis through the notion of national will.


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Citation Formats
B. Oral, “An Analysis of the national will discourse of Erdoğan: from ‘nation-as-one’ to nation as us,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.