The Many Faces of Turkey's Religious Soft Power

Author: Ahmet Erdi Öztürk

August 26, 2020

In this policy brief, Ahmet Erdi Öztürk argues that Turkey, under the ruling Justice and Development Party of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has sought to use Islam visibly and impactfully in its foreign policy, sparking a diverse range of responses. Countries with Muslim and Turkish diasporas that are more economically and politically influential than Turkey are troubled by Turkey’s political actions. Nations that are politically and economically equal to or less developed than Turkey appear satisfied by the very same activity. Turkey’s multidimensional use of religious soft power can be designated as being fundamentally ambivalent in nature.

This policy brief was written as part of the Geopolitics of Religious Soft Power project, a partnership between Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and the Brookings Institution supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.

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