Diaspora Turks and Perceived Kin Communities in Turkish Foreign Policy: Examples from Europe and the Middle East

Led by Mete Hatay
Jan 2019 -

Since 2002, Turkey under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) followed a dynamic and multileveled foreign policy in terms of geographical focus, prioritization of policy sectors and ideological drive. The civilizational, cultural and ideological factors were particularly salient and very much associated with the projection of "soft power," which was seen as rather successful especially until the early 2010s. The notions of Turkish "soft power" and "model" may have since lost much of their appeal, but Ankara has not stopped exerting ideological power and influence through a number of means abroad. One focus of these efforts are Akraba Topluluklar, namely the communities that are perceived to have a shared history and culture with Turkey (a sort of "kinship"), as well as ideological and geopolitial significance for the country. The project examines the dynamics of different cases of kinship in Turkish foreign policy, including the roots of this foreign policy approach and its particularities under the AKP; the ways in which Turkey demonstrates and builds power for akraba topluluklar; the extent to which and ways in which this policy regarding diaspora and perceived kin communities increased Turkey's influence; the effects that the policy has on the politics, economy and social life of the diaspora communities and their relationship with host countries; and the kind of fragmentations that are created within the communities due to Turkey's attempts to maximize presence and influence.

Research Groups


PRIO Report

Hatay, Mete; & Zenonas Tziarras, eds, (2019) Kinship and Diasporas in Turkish Foreign Policy: Examples from Europe, the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean, PRIO Cyprus Centre Report, 10. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.