Governing Trough Hate: Discourse Strategie Used by AKP Elites on Twitter To Justify the Decision of Withdrawl from the Istanbul Convention

Author: Hasan Turgut


Under the AKP rule, Turkey has increasingly become a populist authoritarian regime. Since the day it came to power, the AKP has promoted itself as a servant of the Turkish people. Recent studies have shown that populism under the AKP era has become a dominant political strategy. Scholars have researched it as a discourse, a communicative approach appealing to the people and a way of mobilizing the masses. However, these explanations of the AKP era populism still maintain their demonstrativeness; this phenomenon needs to be reviewed using a new, holistic approach. Therefore, this study problematizes the AKP era populism as a dispositive and tries to understand it through a holistic approach. To test this hypothesis empirically, the study focuses on the decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention as the case study. It investigates how AKP elites justified the decision on Twitter throughout March 2021. In this context, the study focuses on AKP elites’ and pro-AKP trolls’ tweets and applies multiple methods in the process. First, the tweets of AKP elites were analyzed via the discourse-historical approach. Then, in order to understand how these tweets reflect on pro-AKP hashtag campaigns, #GüçlüKadınGüçlüTürkiye and #Morardınızmı tags were scrutinized thematically. The results have shown social media to be the most crucial technology for Dava to simplify the complex social issues and introduce a polarized mentality into daily life. Dava has significantly enriched the economy of enmity and vice versa, and has turned politics into governance – which is only possible through spreading the feelings of hatred.

Key words: AKP, Dava Dispositif, Discourse-Historical Approach , Istanbul Convention, Twitter
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