Author:Pedriye Mutlu (Istanbul University)
Paper short abstract:
This article aims to explore the implications of AKP's and President Erdoğan's populist discourse and politics in domestic and foreign policy on development cooperation and aid. It looks at Turkey's evolving relations with Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of development cooperation.
Paper long abstract:
There is a proliferating literature on the global rise of populism, populist movements and leaders. However, populism is still highly controversial concept in terms of its usefulness as an analytical category. In the field of foreign policy and international development cooperation, limited attention has been paid to common features of populist politics. Having said that, this paper concerns itself with a single case on Turkey. Under the rule of Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi- AKP) and President Erdoğan, Turkey has been one of the non-Western examples of the discussions on populism. On the form of populism, scholars suggested different conceptualisations such as "neoliberal populism", and "authoritarian populism". These conceptualisations have been propounded as an effort to contextualize populism in Turkey, in a wider political and economic transformation. This article aims to explore the implications of AKP's and President Erdoğan's populist discourse and politics in domestic and foreign policy on development cooperation and aid. It confines itself with Turkey's evolving relations with Sub-Saharan Africa and the activities of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA, Türk İşbirliği ve Kalkınma Ajansı). TIKA was founded after the collapse of USSR, as a new instrument for Turkish foreign policy in 1992 and it has undergone an institutional and functional transformation. The article seeks to answer the following questions: How does Turkey position itself in global politics, through development cooperation and aid? What is the relationship between TIKA's activities in Sub-Saharan Africa and the needs of Turkey's economy?
The rise of populism and development cooperation