Does Islamic inclusion of Syrians represent a real challenge to Europe's security approach?: Dilemmas of the AKP's Syrian refugee discourse

Balkılıç Ö., Teke Lloyd F. A.

TURKISH STUDIES, vol.22, no.3, pp.357-379, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2020.1774372
  • Journal Name: TURKISH STUDIES
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.357-379
  • Keywords: civilizational discourse, geopolitics, Migration, securitization, Syrian refugee crisis, Turkey
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


Drawing upon the critical geopolitics literature and discourse analysis, this article will explain how the ruling AKP in Turkey fashioned an alternative, Islamically infused migration discourse in response to the Syrian refugee crisis and how it depicted this as counter-hegemonic to the dominant depictions of East and West embedded within Europe's existing securitization discourse. According to the AKP's geopolitical discourse, the differing attitudes evinced in Europe and Turkey toward the Syrian migrants can be explained by civilizational values deriving from the history and religious composition of the respective regions, as between the Orient and the Occident. However, this article examines to what extent this self-promoted discourse of Islamic inclusion has succeeded in engendering a more progressive settlement and integration regime. It argues that it has actually fostered its own system of 'Othering' and has led to the development of selective admission and exclusionary practices similar to those in Europe.