Turkey in the discourse of European far right: the uses and abuses of Turkey’s membership process for a counter-hegemony
This paper primarily aims to illustrate the role of discourse on Turkey and its EU membership process in European far right’s bid for power. By challenging core values of the EU through anti-Turkey discourse, the far right does not only shake the founding pillars of the EU such as pluralism and democracy, but it also stakes out a space for counter-hegemonic language. In order to test this argument, the paper looks at the discourse of three far right parties in France, the Netherlands and Austria. In these countries, the far right overused the issue of Turkey during political campaigns especially until the mid-2010s. Although mainstream parties showed ups and downs in their policies towards Turkey’s EU membership, the European far right has always been very unwavering in its rejection of Turkey’s membership. The paper explains the persistent position of the far right by looking at the political function of being against Turkey’s membership. Accordingly, the paper finds that the far right has utilized the issue of Turkey to challenge against mainstream parties and remake the EU identity in the image of far right values such as protectionism in economy, ultra-nationalism, and exclusionary self.