The transformation of Turkey’s state identity
William Armstrong - email@example.com
‘National and State Identity in Turkey: The Transformation of the Republic’s Status in the International System’ by Toni Alaranta (Rowman, 192 pages, $75)
The title of this book by Finnish academic Toni Alaranta may be very dull, but its content is tightly argued and full of food for thought. Its argument is powerful: The ascendance of the populist Islamist movement that still dominates Turkey’s politics was crucially aided by the post-Cold War, post-9/11 international political landscape, favorable economic headwinds, and the overwhelming academic trend of postmodern relativism. Backed by a formidable bibliography, Alaranta shows how for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a tale of democratization and liberalization at home and abroad conveniently masked a crude power-grab. The result is the authoritarian and paranoid state we see today.
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