The evaluation of the role of businessmen associations in Turkey, and the extent to which these organizations have been involved in Turkish foreign policy, depends particularly on how they perceive different norms in line with their identities, and how they try to disperse these norms in society. Although associations of businessmen have diverse interests, goals, and stances, and therefore create a heterogeneous structure in Turkey, they are now being encompassed in public diplomacy plans and activities more and more. Among these organizations, the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) and the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD) as two associations of businessmen with different political ideologies and cultural backgrounds have played an important role in Turkey’s political, economic and cultural relations with the European countries and the USA. In this paper, the activities run by these organizations and their roles in Turkish public diplomacy in Europe and the US during the AK Party era will be studied. The organizations’ action plans, and efforts to improve Turkey’s image in these regions after the failed July 15 coup attempt will also be analyzed.
Keywords: Kamu Diplomasisi, TÜSİAD, MÜSİAD, 15 Temmuz Darbe Girişimi, AK Parti
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