Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Article on Turkey's Public Diplomacy Published

My article "Turkish Public Diplomacy: The Genocide Resolution Challenge" was recently published in The Washington Review of Turkish and Eurasian Affairs (free access). I've got to admit - it wasn't all that easy to write. However, I believe academic inquiry should go beyond national - and more importantly, nationalist - interests. In a sense, it was a challenge I set for myself. So no, I have no qualms about it.

I also wanted to thank the organizers of the Conference on Turkish and Eurasian Affairs at St. Mary's College in MD: it was a very informative and engaging discussion (and a very pretty campus!), which I enjoyed very much. Great to see Eurasia and corresponding academic interest in the region coming back from obscurity!

Would appreciate feedback and suggestions.
Also, a request: nationalist and inappropriate comments will be moderated. Thank you.




Abstract: The Armenian Genocide is one of Turkey’s major foreign policy issues and, as such, is among the primary concerns for its public diplomacy efforts, as it strives to counter the information campaigns carried out by Diasporan Armenian communities around the world. In March 2010, the Foreign Affairs Committee at the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a very narrow margin, the non-binding Resolution 252, recognizing the events of the early 20th century as Genocide. The issue threatened to deal a blow to the special relationship between Turkey and the United States, as well as to their strategic partnership. Somehow late to respond, the Turkish government gradually mobilized all its diplomatic capabilities – domestic and Diasporan – in early March, to counter the Resolution at the Committee level, galvanize support from the American public, and ensure the  backing of the U.S. administration to, at least, try and stop the bill from getting to a general Congressional vote. This paper adopts Zaharna’s Information-Relational framework of public diplomacy to analyze and assess these immediate attempts by the Turkish side, and to suggest recommendations for enhancing their relational public diplomacy strategies, especially in terms of the Genocide issue in the U.S.

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