Rising Ottoman Nostalgia in Turkish Popular Culture
An Analysis of Turkey’s Europeanization Process and Ottoman-Themed Soap Operas
This article contributes to the study of the relationship between popular culture and politics by analysing the reversal of Turkey’s Europeanization process after 2010. It explores how domestic dynamics can change social perceptions into foreign policy positions. Therefore, this article examines domestic dimensions and the current Turkish government’s identity reconstruction process by considering popular culture as an important dynamic in the relations between the EU and Turkey. The current reconstruction process from a European to a neo-Ottoman identity of Turkey is analysed via Gramsci’s cultural hegemony concept to understand the changes in Turkish politicians’ discourses and popular culture products more efficiently. Two famous Ottoman-themed soap operas are compared in terms of their content and government’s attitudes towards them. Moreover, discourse analysis and critical visual analysis are used to examine the representations of Turkish and European identities in the soap operas.
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