Effects of Turkish cultural products on its foreign policy toward Africa: Turkish TV series as an example of soft power in Kenya, Mozambique, and Senegal

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Along with other international players such as China, India, or Russia, Turkey decided to increase its economic engagement with Africa starting more than a decade ago, around the time when the current ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) came to power. At the same time, it has been enhancing its soft power by building infrastructure, increasing its military presence, becoming visible in humanitarian aid, and exporting cultural products. This country's penetration and involvement in local African life have been controversial in terms of international politics, and its media products could be one of the essential strategies to change the dominant Western narratives. This research is based on the assertion that, through Turkish TV series, Turkish soft power creates a perception of Turkey in African countries and argues that those that have been aired on that continent have a political effect on people. To achieve the objectives proposed in this study, an in-depth interview method was used to collect data, taking into consideration information, cultural characteristics, and experiences within an ethnographic approach. In this context, we interviewed people who live in Mozambique, Kenya, and Senegal, where relations with Turkey have especially strengthened in the last 10 years, and who regularly watch Turkish TV series. This study asserts that Turkish TV series play an important role in the way Turkey is perceived in the African countries in which they are consumed but also serve, in a positive way, as a key information source regarding the country's image.


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Turkish Series, Cultural Industries, Video On Demand, Vod, Media Geopolitics, Soft Power, Colonialism, Cultural Diplomacy, Cultural Hegemony, Cultural Diversity, Tourism


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