Strategic Foresight

Policy briefs

Challenges to Understanding Turkish Diaspora Politics

19 Feb 2021 - 13:46
Bron: Dutch Turks voting
Whose long arm?

This Clingendael policy brief seeks to explain visible manifestations of Turkish politics in European cities. Why does Turkish politics lead to unrest in Rotterdam and Berlin and what institutional mechanisms facilitate this? The brief highlights various drivers, institutional manifestations and historical changes, but also points out that there are a number of uncertainties and questions about the motivations for, and modus operandi of, Turkey’s influence in European societies. These questions are all the more relevant as European policy-makers increasingly seek to take measures in order to curb this.

The main argument developed in this brief is that effective policy ‘at home’ (in Europe) will require better knowledge of socio-political developments ‘abroad’ (in Turkey). The first and second parts of this brief, therefore, show how the drivers of Turkish influence on the diaspora have changed over time. The third section highlights how present-day diaspora politics is institutionally anchored in Western Europe. Most of the practical examples in this brief are drawn from the Dutch context, but the dynamics will be familiar to those observing this phenomenon in other Western European countries.

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