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Journal Articles


Mediterranean Politics, 2022

Politicians’ ways of speaking and dressing, how they address other leaders and the masses, and even the kind of gestures they use are all evaluated in detail by the media, commentators, and the electorate. Of the above, however, of particular interest to the media, and which can place them in the spotlight for a long time, is when they openly cry in public. Public weeping is often regarded as a sign of weakness, and even irrationality; however, a political leader doing so publicly may be able to build a connection with the people in some instances. In this paper, I will analyze whether public weeping can affect a leader’s public approval. Known for his tearfulness, Turkish President Erdogan has wept publicly twenty-seven times between 2014-2022. Based on time-series data and the autoregressive distributed lag model, it does, in fact, seem that public weeping has significantly increased President Erdogan’s public approval rate.


Research & Politics, 2022

Naming and shaming has been widely used by governments and nongovernmental organizations to address human rights violations. Yet despite the prevalence of this foreign policy instrument, the question of when states publicly denounce norm-violators remains under-explored. We examine this question in the context of China's repression of Uyghur minority. This case offers a unique opportunity to study not only when countries engage in naming and shaming, but also when they explicitly defend or endorse rights violations. We analyze the official positions of 174 countries between 2019 and 2021. We find that while geopolitical alignment is a significant predictor of both shaming and defending, a nation's strong trade links with China has a less straightforward effect. Similarly, while democracies are significantly less likely to defend China's Uyghur policy, they are not more likely to denounce it. We also find that identity-related factors have a muted effect. The paper advances our understanding of a broader spectrum of government behavior vis-à-vis human rights violations in other countries, and has implications for the role of identity in inter-state shaming.

Democratization, 2021

Coups are forceful acts of removal staged against incumbent governments. Yet, the democratic coup hypothesis indicates the possibility of coup-led democratisation. Do coups really lead to democratisation? And if so, why do only some coups trigger a democratic transition? I analyse successful and failed coup events from 1950 to 2015 to address these questions, focusing on the mediating effects of domestic factors. The theoretical framework suggests that while successful coups lead to democratisation in wealthier countries, high levels of income and state capacity allow authoritarian-leaning leaders to autocratize the country following a failed coup attempt. These findings have broader implications for civil–military relations and the international community’s effect on military behaviour in post-coup settings.

Studies in Comparative International Development, 2021

Populism and nationalism have been described as major threats to democracy. But ambiguities linger over their conceptual boundaries and overlaps. This article develops a typology of nationalist narratives to historically situate the recent global rise of populist nationalism. Specifically, we identify three common types of historical experience with empire that have shaped contemporary expressions of nationalism by populist leaders: imperial power, where a nation’s forerunner was the leading polity in a regional or global empire; imperial subject, where a nation was ruled and dominated by an imperial power, and imperial holdout, where a nation battled off imperial encroachments with relative success. Collective memories of these divergent imperial experiences are associated with three distinct types of nationalist narratives today: restorative nationalism in former imperial powers, redemptive nationalism in former imperial subjects, and retentive nationalism in former imperial holdouts. We illustrate this typology in three major cases of twenty-first-century populism: Turkey under Erdogan, the Philippines under Duterte, and Thailand under Thaksin. We tentatively contend that restorative nationalism is an especially likely conduit for greater political disruptions at home and abroad.

Turkish Studies, 2019

This article investigates the effects of populist discourse on leadership and state behavior at the international level. From 2002 to 2013, Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) gradually consolidated its power, largely by deploying populist discourses and actions. However, after the party faced a number of challenges, including the Gezi protests, corruption allegations, and a failed coup, its populist rhetoric did not only begin to weaken but also seems to have created a problem of path dependency, which limited the decision-making capability at the hands of its leadership. By comparing the 2001–2002 and 2018–2019 economic crises based on the most-likely case research design, we assert that the AKP’s discursive turn into anti-Western and anti-establishment politics pushed the party into a corner, making it less likely to collaborate with international organizations, such as the IMF and even private consulting companies despite the country’s high inflation rates and currency depreciation.

Social Science Information, 2019

Despite the growing literature that adapts the Italian thinker Giorgio Agamben’s theory of sovereignty to the analysis of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) increasing authoritarian politics in Turkey, this article draws attention to the theoretical pitfalls of this tendency and argues that these studies mostly fall into the trap of mistaking the consolidation of populist power with the establishment of sovereignty. Utilising the AKP’s biopolitical agenda over Syrian refugees fleeing to Turkey as a case study, we attempt to realize a theoretical twist and offer to read Agamben backwards; that is to say, instead of starting with the assumption that the AKP has established sovereignty in the country, we question whether the party is indeed able to perform a consistent type of biopolitics over the Syrian refugees that would suggest the existence of such sovereignty in the first place. Consequently, our analysis reveals that it is not an Agambenian ‘state of exception’ established by the AKP leadership in Turkey that makes recent Turkish politics look more authoritarian than ever; instead, what we witness is a continuation of a strong state tradition inherited from Turkey’s founding Kemalist era that still determines the boundaries of state–society relations in the country.

New Perspectives on Turkey, 2019

This paper analyzes a hundred Turkish aid recipient countries in order to explore the determinants of Turkey’s foreign aid behavior during the period 2005–2016. By estimating the model with the system-GMM estimator, it is demonstrated that Turkey is a regular donor whose amount of foreign aid is positively influenced by the export-based embeddedness of Turkish firms in the recipient countries. Recipients with low levels of per-capita income attract more Turkish aid. However, this income’s effect diminishes in states that were formerly part of Ottoman territory. Recipient countries in an aid relationship with OECD-DAC members also receive more foreign aid from Turkey. In addition, Turkey disburses more foreign aid to recipient countries that can be classified as Turkic republics. Turkish foreign aid behavior is also motivated by Ottomanism, especially in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Finally, and interestingly, although Islam has a considerable impact on attracting Turkish aid overall, this impact disappears in former Ottoman states and Turkic republics.

Publications : Publications
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