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HomeGeopolitical CompassWest & Centeral AsiaExplaining the Evolution of Turkey's Diaspora Engagement Policy: A Holistic Approach

Explaining the Evolution of Turkey’s Diaspora Engagement Policy: A Holistic Approach

Author: Ayca Arkilic

Affiliation: Victoria University of Wellington

Organization/Publisher: Diaspora Studies, Taylor and Francis Online

Date/Place: January 2021/New Zealand

Type of Literature: Research Article

Word Count: 5693


Keywords: Turkey’s Diaspora, Neo-Ottomanism, Turkey- Europe Relations, AKP Policy 


Since the early 2000s, academics and researchers have been trying to identify and explain the working mechanisms behind states’ approaches on sending outreach to their diaspora, and how political actors in their respective homelands nurture their diaspora policies. Author Ayca Arkilic’s article is an attempt to lay out a very detailed policy framework to interpret why Turkey has adopted a proactive diaspora agenda since the early 2000s. The article suggests that Turkey’s policy is an outcome of multiple factors, i.e., domestic, international, and transnational. According to Ayca, the rise of AKP with a view of neo-Ottomanism and Sunni-Turkish nationalism have transformed Turkey’s state-diaspora. The domestic factors, in particular, are mainly influenced by three elements: the unique structure and political incentives of AKP, the emerging political and socio-economic influence of Turkey’s diaspora in Europe, and Turkey’s relations with the European Union. The article further suggests that the strong domestic factors have fully dominated over the other factors and have played the most vital and crucial role in forming Turkey’s diaspora policy. Given Turkey’s proactive diaspora agenda, it is too early to conclude the outcomes, impact, and possible implications of its diaspora on European host states and the community. Hence, only time will show whether Turkey’s proactive policy will enhance or damage the Turkish diaspora’s integration and relationships with European host states.

By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate



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