Global power centers like the US determine the position, effectiveness and even the dignity of countries like Turkey, which have limited power and coverage area. It does not matter whether your country is heaven for your citizens, the important thing is whether the barons of the world system grade your country as powerful and worthy. Even if the state is an authoritarian system, if the “world system” feels that this dictatorship is compatible with its interests, then that state can be treated as reasonable, esteemed and enjoy the credit that comes with it.
There are many factors that create this perception. Did we not recently witness how countries ruled by dictatorships, initially perceived as reasonable, legitimate and brilliant, were suddenly demonized? If we look around we can clearly see how tyrannical regimes are portrayed as respectable, supposedly peaceful members.
The US and Europe's greatest power to manage perception is the media. Before diplomatic language and political enforcement step in, if you take a look at the media you can understand the changes in global centers and the messages given. Those who want to do things subtly can use these opportunities and engrave the image they desire in the minds of people. They can even leave us in awe by using the same image with a negative connotation. In order to survive the false reality of digital truths at a time of the eclipse of reason, marking stones should be preserved.
We can understand how the global centers perceive Turkey from the media exposures of the US The messages reflected by media organizations with different political views and different think tanks are not very bright. Simply by looking at the attitude taken, the provocative language used against a country like Turkey that cannot be crossed off at once, it is possible to catch hints of what the administration is thinking.
What should be remembered at this point is that there is a contradictory issue, which sometimes causes emotional reactions, which need to be considered particularly by Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members. For example, “reputable” Western media organizations, until recently, praised Turkey and its administration to the skies and were honored by some; however, these same newspapers and magazines slammed Turkey, which was then perceived as conspiracy theories by the same people.
If the world system is not understood within its environment and its relations with its allies is not studied within a diplomatic and hegemonic context, then falling into paradox is inevitable.
Explaining all the crises happening in Turkey's region with conspiracy theories can probably relieve some. However, it will not help solve the problems. Accusing others instead of self-criticizing will not lead to generating healthy politics.
Turkey's geography, historical position, strategic position, etc. are enough for it to stand amid interests and power clashes. However, no one can expect such an interactive country to take its steps with permission seeking support from global hegemony.
Then what is the problem? We must underline that Turkey going into a turbulent period and the shrinkage in foreign politics is created by not only management weakness but by global and regional factors. I believe two primary elements are effective in shaping the media perception of the digital age independent of the country, government, opposition and even its faults and good deeds:
We have to realize that an appropriate discourse has not been developed for Turkey's potential and real power in the formation of the perception of Turkey or more precisely the AK Party. Since it is not a banana republic in terms of its location and potential, what kind of an perception mistake are we talking about? The global centers that take Turkey's potential far more seriously than we do, have taken the neo-Ottoman claim wishing to become a regional power too seriously. The nostalgic excitement rising from Turkey's conservative group was considered enough for them, (despite having no truth to it) to ring alarm bells.
In other words, they want Turkey to pay the price for the contradiction between the profile it presented against its real power and means. Its image, which is in contrast with its power, invited an undeserved coup in terms of certain circles. It is evident that they are trying to draw the lines and bring a country that cannot control its desire for greatness.
We can say that the usual control syndrome on traditional (maybe not direct) hegemonic relations has reoccurred. It would not be prophecy to say that, with the bright discourse of the West, especially the US, different power relations are enabled in international relations logic. The greatest fear in these relations is having powerful support in internal dynamics, besides being unpredictable and uncontrollable. Meaning if you are very powerful and unpredictable and an uncontrollable perception is created, that is reason enough for you to be portrayed as “Saddam.”
Putting deep politics and strategic analyses aside, the state of the perception level indicates this. Taking this situation seriously is for the benefit of all.