2013: Volume 6, Issue 2, pp. 19-33

Constructing the “Arab Spring”: 
News Discourses in Turkish Newspapers

Banu Dağtaş



Originating in Tunisia and spreading rapidly to Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, and Libya, the recent wave of popular movements that the Western media have dubbed the “Arab Spring” has been closely monitored by the whole world including in Turkey. This country is geographically close to the region and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been active in developing foreign policies in relation to the key countries involved. This paper analyzes the news discourses in the reports published between January 25th and February 25th, 2011, in six Turkish national newspapers. This is the period when upheaval reached its peak in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the most potent symbol of “Arab Spring”. The newspapers sampled fall into two categories, those supporting the AKP government (StarZaman, and Sabah) and those not supporting the AKP government (CumhuriyetHürriyet, and Taraf). To map the discursive fields employed in the news reports, this paper draws on methods from critical discourse analysis and examines news actors and their quotation patterns, lexicalization, overlexicalization and syntactic preferences.


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