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Decomposing Neo-Ottoman Hegemony

This paper demonstrates how the Justice and Development Party's (JDP) hegemony involved a coalescence of external and domestic forces into a historic bloc. It benefits from the insights of a neo-Gramscian approach. It argues that the JDP attempted to transfigure Turkey from an ordinary, medium-sized actor into a regional imperial power, but failed. The JDP's attempt to implement neo-Ottomanism in the Balkans was ineffective, and its efforts in the Middle East not only failed to produce equilibrium in the region, even worse, they contributed to the acceleration of disorder in Syria. This paper points out that the existing international order makes it almost impossible for a medium-sized regional power to upgrade its status to that of a regional sub-superpower. It concludes that the JDP's assertive foreign policy and increasing authoritarianism caused a decline in hegemony, which was later revived through coerciveness at the domestic level and trade-offs at the international level. It remains to be seen whether the coerciveness and trade-offs will be enough for the JDP to sustain its revived hegemony.