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TİKA’s Soft Power: Nation Branding in Turkish Foreign Policy

Over the past fifteen years, nation branding has become a popular subject of study, and a formative enterprise in the creation of national character. The aim of nation branding is to create positive feelings in people’s minds toward the economic, political, social and geographical conditions of a nation. The aim of this paper is to examine the role of TİKA in the context of Turkey’s nation branding in general, with special attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. Further, this paper aims to explain the effects of the Turkish humanitarian assistance process on the Syrian people who live in Turkey as refugees, and to bring a nation branding perspective to how and why nations pay attention to public diplomacy in their attempts to keep their national image strong.

TİKA s Soft Power Nation Branding in Turkish Foreign Policy
After the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch Operations brought security in Azez, Syria, TİKA held iftar and distributed humanitarian aid to 300 families living there. ŞAHER EL-HACCI / AA Photo

The Relationship between Nation Branding and Humanitarian Assistance

Nation branding is an important concept in today’s world; it can be described as the increase in a country’s positive recognizability in the world through the construction of attitudes and emotions towards that nation. As a consequence of globalization, all countries must compete with each other for the attention, respect, and trust of investors, tourists, consumers, donors, immigrants, media, and governments of other nations: a powerful and positive nation brand provides a crucial competitive advantage. It is essential for countries to understand how they are seen by publics around the world, and how their achievements and failures, their assets and their liabilities, their people and their products are reflected in their brand image.

Branding is not just a singular image or characteristic that helps distinguish one product from others. It is a process which creates a meaningful whole with physical, nonphysical, and psychological or sociological aspects.In general, branding is essential across a large spectrum of the economy, finance, marketing and trading, and it is fast becoming a key instrument in social science and in the fields of International Relations and Politics.

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Call for Paper | Politics of the Balkans and Future Perspectives