The Perception of ―”The Middle East” in Turkey: how do Turkish scholars of Middle East Studies and other disciplines perceive the area?

Gökyar, Meryem
Where the Middle East is has been a very debatable issue since the construction of this terminology, not only due to its being a Eurocentric term but also because territories and characteristics attributed to the area can change dramatically. Thus, how Middle East is perceived is an important question to ask especially in Turkey: According to some it is included in the Middle East, whereas others argue that it is a European country, Euro-Asian country, a "bridge" between east and west, a European model to the Middle East and a country with strategic depth. Hence, this present thesis aims to depict how the Middle East is perceived and how Turkey is positioned in the Middle East by the experts of this area, i.e. Turkish scholars of the Middle East Studies; as well as by non-experts with similar cognitive/intellectual capacity, Turkish scholars from other disciplines. Besides, this qualitative study asks whether there is any difference between the perceptions of these two groups and in what ways they differ, if they do. Therefore, this thesis not only fills the gaps in terms of questions it asks, but also attempts to present new methodology to the Middle East Studies by its quasi-experimental qualitative design.