FOREIGN POLICY AND PUBLIC OPINION: MAVI MARMARA CRISIS

Abstract

Author(s): Bulut GURPINAR

The role of the public in the foreign policy decision making within the theories of international relations is controversial. It is generally agreed that the value of public opinion in foreign policy outputs is parallel to the democratic nature of the political system. Moreover, it is expected that countries should have public support in order to carry out effective foreign policy on the international scene. Even though public opinion may not be from single and homogeneous clusters, even if it is accepted that it has come from different masses, the most important device forming the public has the role of media reflection at the same time. On the other hand, it can be said that the media is mostly influenced by public opinion in the foreign policy making process. This study examines the news in the press during the Mavi Marmara crisis and will try to show how much it reflects the turbulence between Turkey and Israel between 2009-2013. It also discusses the economic and social dimensions of the relationship, the level of the tension between Turkey and Israel, and whether the public opinion overlaps with the media. With in this contex, the first ruling years of AK Party and foreign policy making, Turkey-Israel relations will be discussed, then Mavi Marmara and final crisis will be examined. After evaluating the news in both Turkey and the Israeli press in this process, the analyses of the economic and social indicators of relations between the two countries will be delivered. It is argued that though both the media and governments use the very similar discourse in negative approach towards each other, economic and social indicators do claim otherwise.

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