Notwithstanding its somewhat misleading title, this book focuses exclusively on the representations of Turkey in the French debate about Turkey’s EU accession bid. Part I of the book focuses on the historical dimension and context of the French debate. Part II goes on to apply Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to this debate. CDA is concerned with “the relationship of language to other elements of social processes and power” (p.15), and draws on the contents of speeches, debates, media reports, and the like. The book adds to the growing literature on the role of identity in politics, and on how these are constructed. In particular, it explores the relationship between Self and Other in the French political discourse on Turkey.
In a remarkable turnaround, Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government have recently emerged as close partners in a region increasingly characterized by uncertainty. They share a discomfort with the centralizing inclinations of Baghdad’s current government, a stake in seeing an end to the PKK’s campaign of violence, and a preference for greater unity between the various forces opposing the Assad regime in Syria. Their economies are increasingly interlocked, and the KRG’s emergence as a significant producer of energy is of benefit to both parties. Furthermore, the Ankara-Erbil relationship is one that serves Washington’s regional interests and perspectives well. However, serious differences remain. Iraqi Kurds still aspire to incorporate Kirkuk, and support greater autonomy for the Kurds of Turkey and Syria too. Turkey’s support for Erbil could unintentionally help produce greater Kurdish autonomy throughout the region. This article explores some of the possible ramifications of the burgeoning Ankara-Erbil relationship.