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Space and the Emotional Topography of Populism in Turkey

Cover of the journal Cogent Social Sciences

CMES researcher Spyros Sofos has authored the article "Space and the emotional topography of populism in Turkey: The case of Hagia Sophia", available online in the journal Cogent Social Sciences.

Over the past decade, as ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) initiated Turkey’s authoritarian populist turn, it sought to derive legitimacy through extra-institutional avenues, notably the emotional appeal to the repressed “people”, advancing the party’s socio-political vision, countering the arguments of its political opponents and reaching out to, and inspiring its constituency. Turkey’s urban space, bearing the marks of a century of republicanism, provided fertile ground for the deployment of emotion. This article, drawing on an analysis of the events surrounding the mosque conversion of Hagia Sophia and of the relevant media coverage, as well as on elements of 28 interviews with informants with political sympathies across the political spectrum, constitutes an attempt to contribute to the broader discussion of the emotional topography of populism in Turkey.

Read and download the article here

Spyros Sofos's staff page