Turkey has always been a fertile environment and an ideological crucible for debate about ‘secularism’ and ‘Islam’, ‘Pan-Turkism’ and ‘Pan-/Neo-Ottomanism’, etc. These debates and confrontations can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire. In spite of the fact that the newly established Turkish Republic’s main official direction was toward the West, these debates still exist today. For instance, while the Democratic Party (1946–1960) to Justice Party (1961–1980) line and the National Salvation Party (1972– 1980) to Welfare Party (1983–1998) line had pro-Ottomanist and pro-Islamist approaches respectively, the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP), by and large, embraced a Western-oriented approach after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey until the early 2000s, even if itseems that the CHP (the main opposition party) has recently lost its enthusiasm toward the Western world and has radiated mixed signals on whether it will continue to support Turkey’s Westernist foreign policy discourse.

As a consequence of these debates and confrontations, it should be mentioned that Russian Eurasianism has had some reflections on Turkish society. In particular, the conditions of the post-Cold War era and the recent activism in Turkish foreign policy have put the Eurasianism debates back on the agenda. Various perceptions of this view can be observed in contemporary Turkish politics. In this context, this chapter provides a detailed analysis of the discourses of Turkish Eurasianism. Specifically, the first part of this section focuses on four of the main ideologies which have been dominant in Turkey in shaping the discourses of Turkish Eurasianism since the late 1980s: Neo-Ottomanism, Islamism, Pan-Turkism and Pan-Turanianism. It is significant to analyse these ideologies as they are four of the main determinants of Turkish domestic and foreign policy directions. Besides, these ideologies have played a vital role during the attempts of Aleksandr Dugin’s Neo-Eurasianism to penetrate into Turkey, as his initial Eurasianist thinking was anti-Turkish and it was these ideologies which moulded and added perspectives to the discourses of Turkish Eurasianism. In this sense, the latter part of the section will present an overview of the discourses of Eurasianism in contemporary Turkish politics.

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How to Cite:

TUFEKCI, O. (2017), Turkish Eurasianism: Roots and Discourses In O. Tufekci, H. Tabak, and E. Akilli (Eds.), Eurasian Politics and Society: Issues and Challenges (pp. 1-36). Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.