“Strong, but Anxious State”: The Fantasmatic Narratives on Ontological Insecurity and Anxiety in Turkey - Umut Can ADISONMEZ and Recep ONURSAL

28/03/2022
ULUSLARARASI ILISKILER, VOLUME 19, NUMBER 73, 2022
 
Umut Can ADISONMEZ* and Recep ONURSAL**

ABSTRACT
The political discourse on the problem of state survival in Turkey is hegemonic. What is central to this discourse is Sévresphobia: the idea that Turkey is surrounded by internal and external enemies who are ready to destroy it. This article aims to explain why the political discourse on the problem of state survival in Turkey sustains itself over time and how it captures the collective mode of being. The article argues that fantasmatic narratives play an important role in maintaining the hegemonic discourse and governing collective anxiety. First, fantasmatic narratives simplify the socio-political space by offering a comforting explanation for the ongoing insecurities and making anxiety tolerable. Second, they act as an ideological force by keeping the political dimension of the discourse on ontological security at bay. Drawing on the Post-foundational Theory of Discourse (PTD) and Ontological Security Theory (OST), the article problematizes and analyzes the political discourse on the problem of state survival in Turkey.

Keywords:  Ontological Security, Discourse, Sévresphobia, Hegemony, The Problem of State Survival

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*    Lecturer, İzmir University of Economics, Department of Political Science and International Relations.
**   PhD Candidate, University of Kent, School of Politics and International Relations.