Political homophobia as a tool of creating crisis narratives and ontological insecurities in illiberal populist contexts: Lessons from the 2023 elections in Turkey

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This article analyzes how the Justice and Development Party’s (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi; AKP) 2023 election propaganda utilized political homophobia as a populist tool to construct and reinforce political antagonisms and carry out a crisis-driven politics in search of continued hegemony. Relying on critical discourse analysis of qualitative data, it demonstrates that during the 2023 election period the AKP’s antagonistic operationalization of anti-LGBTI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) discourse unfolded in three modalities: as a culturalist rhetoric and a nativist technology of othering at the intersection of Islam and anti-genderism; as a tool of defining and vilifying political opponents as “inner enemies”; and as a policy perspective and path towards legal action and institutionalization of political homophobia. Within this frame, the article demonstrates that the gendered performance of crisis-driven politics is a core mechanism of the current democratic erosion in Turkey. It argues that homophobic propaganda is a key tool for the AKP not only to enact the processes of othering through fearmongering and scapegoating, but also to restructure politics through crisis-driven imaginaries, post-truth epistemologies, and emergency legislation that lacks political responsiveness.
TidskriftNew Perspectives on Turkey
Antal sidor22
StatusPublicerad - 11 mars 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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