Abstract

Abstract:

Turkey is a prime example of the growing importance of diaspora related policies in countries with emerging power status. Based on reports, observations, and interviews with Turkish and Kosovar citizens in Pristina in February 2019, this article examines how Turkey since 2002 has created societal influence in Kosovo—a new and insecure country with which Turkey established relations since its inception—by using, among other things, the Presidency for Re ligious Affairs (Diyanet) for its diaspora policies. Looking at how the inclusive and repressive tactics of Turkish diaspora-building feed into each other, I argue that Ankara has expanded the boundaries of the Turkish state's reach by harnessing religion (Islam) in addition to exist ing ethnic bonds (Turkishness), thereby allowing Turkey to create a diaspora out of a much larger group of people including non-Turkish Muslims. As a result, certain segments among the Sunni-Muslim Albanians in Kosovo have developed close relations with Turkey that may be employed when needed to police elements of the diaspora that are seen as oppositional. While Turkey's "domestic abroad" has expanded considerably due to the initial inclusive outreach, it has also become more fragmented, more contested, and more unruly, delivering continuously diminishing returns in terms of regime security at home. Although the repression of disloyal diaspora members by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is aimed at stabilizing rule at home, it creates divisions in the diaspora and risks Turkey's relations with the countries in which it asserts its authority.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1911-1568
Print ISSN
1044-2057
Pages
pp. 188-208
Launched on MUSE
2021-10-12
Open Access
No
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