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Turkey’s Erdoğan: leadership style and foreign policy audiences

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Political leaders appeal to home audiences as well as ‘others’ beyond the state’s borders. Using leadership trait analysis, in the example of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, this paper questions if and why a leader can exhibit different leadership traits and styles at home and away. The paper is concerned with how Erdoğan's leadership traits and style connect to Turkish foreign policy between March 2003 and May 2013. First, two profiles of Erdoğan are assessed from the interviews he gave to domestic and foreign press. The paper then reports Erdoğan’s profiles by distinguishing between different Western, Eastern, European, American, and Middle Eastern audiences. Based on these profiles, this paper argues that Erdoğan has two different profiles at home and away. Furthermore, it finds that Erdoğan’s profile from his foreign policy interviews with American news outlets stand out from his other profiles. Among other traits, Erdoğan’s task focus changes noticeably among audiences.




Kesgin, B. (2020). Turkey’s Erdoğan: leadership style and foreign policy audiences. Turkish Studies, 21(1), 56–82.

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