Religion, foreign policy and populism in Turkish politics: introducing a new framework

Bulut A. T., Hacioglu N.

DEMOCRATIZATION, vol.28, no.4, pp.762-781, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13510347.2020.1865318
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Educational research abstracts (ERA), Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.762-781
  • Keywords: populism, religion, foreign policy, AKP, Turkey
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


By content-coding 40 parliamentary group speeches of the major Turkish parties over a period of 4 years, we show that existing measures of populism should include two more categories in order to understand the populist communication strategies of the Turkish political parties. The first category is "discursive religious symbolism" which is included in the thin populism dimension. The other is "foreign policy populism" which is included in the thick populism dimension. Our results show that the inclusion of these new categories is crucial for our understanding of populist communication styles in Turkish politics. The results also indicate that both discursive religious symbolism and foreign policy populism plays a crucial role in the resilience of the incumbent Justice and Development Party.