Pelin Ayan Musil on Czech Public Opinion on Turkey’s Accession to the EU

Pelin Ayan Musil on Czech Public Opinion on Turkey’s Accession to the EU

The recent debates on migration in the Czech Republic have opened up allegations of Islamophobia. Although the context is new, this is not a new issue in the Czech society. This article provides a valuable analysis of the foundations of public skepticism toward Muslim societies in the Czech Republic through exploring the roots of unsupportive public opinion on Turkey’s potential membership to the EU.

It argues that the historical and cultural context in the Czech Republic has created an informal institution built around the norms of “othering” Muslim societies like Turkey. This normative institution, in return, both enables and constrains the “discursive ability” of the media in communicating these issues to its audience.

The article, then, presents the findings from 14 semi-structured elite interviews and a qualitative content analysis of the selected Czech print-media (2005-2010). These findings show that the media chooses to maintain this informal institution rather than critically debating it. In this way,  “Turkey as the cultural other of Europe” remains as a dominant perception in the Czech Republic, which also explains the low levels of public support for its potential accession to the EU.

Thus, the article is of interest to the readers who want to understand the foundations and the persistence of Islamophobia in a Central European context, which explores it around the axis of EU-Turkey debate.

  • This is Pelin Ayan Musil’s summary of her article Czech Public Opinion on Turkey’s Accession to the EU: An Analysis through the Lenses of Sociological and Discursive Institutionalism that has appeared in the latest issue of the New Perspectives