Mediating the EU: Deciphering the transformation of Turkish elites

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Title: Mediating the EU: Deciphering the transformation of Turkish elites
Author: Saka, Erkan
Advisor: Faubion, James D.
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy thesis
Abstract: Reporting the European Union (EU) is the mother of all political coverage in Turkey even if the actors deny it. In mediating the EU, senior journalists, editors and columnists act not as spokespersons of other elites but become a group of elites that organize, produce, mediate the existing Republican rule whose foundations are directly linked to the founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Their role appears through the formation of a political assemblage, which I call the EU Process Assemblage. Even if a journalist has a pro-EU stance personally, overall journalistic production tends to be anti-EU because of their embeddedness in this assemblage. This particular assemblage formed during a political party, AKP, which did not have traditional Republican credibilities, came to rule. Senior journalists acted against the political authority fiercely, even this meant not good for business. In republican history, journalists are known to oppose government policies but there was never such an ideological stance against the civil authority before. By senior journalists, I particularly think of those who are based in the giant media conglomeration, Dogˇan Media Group (DMG). There are exceptional, mostly 'liberal' columnists in DMG or some others in the growing media power of pro-AKP press corps. However, most of the journalists I think come to have a homogenous ideological formation despite their personal differences. Along with and sometimes independently from military, judiciary and some other bureaucratic sectors, they acted as the guardians of the Kemalist order.
Citation: Saka, Erkan. (2009) "Mediating the EU: Deciphering the transformation of Turkish elites." Doctoral Thesis, Rice University.
Date: 2009

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