In my previous case study about Turkey I came to the conclusion that Turkey and the same is also valid for Japan as we will see below) remained ambivalent to the idea of regionalization in their non-Western neighborhood. And the answer to this question lies in their historically shaped and domestically contested national identities, which impose constraints and ambiguity for their current foreign policy choices.
The lack of a national consensus in both countries as regards their sense of belonging to a geographic location has been caused by an incomplete shift of civilizational identity and ongoing debates over this shift at the domestic level. The shift was incomplete in two senses: (1) the Westernizing elites never internalized the West itself, while detaching themselves from a sense of belonging to the East; (2) such a shift of identity never became a national consensus, as rival claims to national identity remained dormant and occasionally rose to the level of power. This duality of national identities has paved the way for a contested foreign policy orientation, which continues to influence their European (Turkey) and Asian (Japan) regional integration processes today. And as we have shown next, history matters for a country's foreign policy, both as a constraint and as an opportunity. It may limit or expand foreign policy options. In both countries, national identity became fragmented and contested by various sub-national identities with distinct readings of national interests and security and distinct perceptions of 'Others' of national identity. Foreign policy decisions thus emerge in the context of this contestation among opposing identities. Accordingly as we will see below, this demands a modification to account for these divergent perceptions as domestic informants of foreign policy decision-making processes.
For a country's foreign policy as in the case of Turkey and Japan, it may limit or expand choices available to international actors, and can be made for opposing and occasionally clashing subnational claims to national identity. These identities are formed both through external and internal experiences of social and political actors. Hence domestic identity conflicts in forming foreign policy choices. Contested national identity however, is an outcome of the process of modernization, which attempted to create a Western identity and its de-legitimization due to failure to have the West endorse this Western identity.Yet, on the appearance, Turkey and Japan are two unrelated cases. They do not appear to have much in common. Japan is the world's second largest economic power, a member of the G-8, and aspires to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Turkey, however, is a regional power with an economic and military might that is globally only marginally significant. They are far away from each other with no common history. Japan is an island nation with a strong historical background of isolation from the world. Turkey could never isolate itself from the world. Yet these cases bear aremarkably similar geographical position and historical experiences, leading to comparable foreign policy challenges and reactions.
Nevertheless, first, Turkey and Japan share a geographical commonality, being on the two extreme margins of the Asian continent. Despite the fact that Japan, as an island nation, is geographically more remote to the West, boundaries of geography are always drawn through historical memory and common identity rather than objective criteria. Hence Greek Cyprus is considered a part of Europe by Europeans themselves, but not Turkey or Morocco. Turkey has always been the Other to the geography in which it is located in proximity. It has been rejected as part of Europe; it had always been Europe's historical mission "to drive the Turk out." Unable to cope with the threat posed by the West starting from the nineteenth century, Ottoman and Republican Turkey opted for changing its civilizational identity. Resisting the West was possible only through a process of Westemization. With its process of Westemization, which required a parallel process of de-Orientalization and de-Islamization, Turkey experienced its own "escape from the East. " Japan faced a similar dilemma during the late Tokugawa period. The Tokugawa . era was a period of peace and prosperity for Japan. It was, however, aware that the Western colonization was expanding slowly into Asia. Japan was disappointed to observe how its civilizational model, China, was defeated so dishonorably at the hands of a remote island nation, namely, the British, in the Opium Wars. Having valued sheer power, the Chinese model was discarded as an efficient solution to Japan's security problems if Japan wanted to avoid a similar fate. The Tokugawa regime initiated the process of Westernization, but its signing of unequal treaties led to the uprising of the opposing nationalist domains. The fiercely nationalist samurai from these domains overthrew the dynasty and restored the emperor to symbolic power on the promise of ''revere' the emperor, expel the barbarian." They themselves however understood that to do so required an intense process of modernization, through building a centralized administrative system based on close study and adaptation of the European, particularly Prussian, model. Japanese modernization and Westernation process then was largely a process implemented at the hands of nationalist elites. This new pro- Western revolutionaries, intellectually inspired by Fukuzawa's call to detach themselves from the "archaic" China, proved themselves by defeating their old civilizational model, China, in 1894, and their archenemy, Russia, in 1905.
Japan's victory over Russia was very much to the envy of the Ottomans. The Ottomans were defeated by Russians in almost every battle they fought and started to crumble following the Treaty of Kaynarca signed in 1774 following the Ottoman Russian War of 1768-1774. The Ottoman Empire was able to sustain its integrity only to the extent that the European powers allowed it. The defensive modernization dit not help the empire from dissolving, but its economic implications made it more dependent on the West. In contrast to the Rising Sun of Japan, the Ottoman crescent was fading rapidly. The empire's cultural, ethnic, and religious plurality, which Ottomans were able to maintain for ages through its millet system, was its greatest vulnerability, based on recognition of cultural and administrative autonomy of a set of recognized religions. However, by the nineteenth century, the waves of nationalism swept through the empire, provoking Ottoman millets to rise up and declare their independence one after the other. The empire was crumbling rapidly. It was shocking to observe for the young military officers how heterogeneity and cultural/ethnic plurality created disintegration. The Ottoman center responsed back to this through creation of a liberal Ottoman identity, namely, Ottomanism. It was an identity that would replace diversity of millets with equal rights and responsibilities to all citizens. Yet it did not work. Particularly, non-Muslim subjects of the empire continued to rise up for their independence and gained them with the backing of external powers. The Ottoman elites reacted to this through Panislamism, which was based on the premise of Muslim solidarity both within the empire and outside the empire. Under Abdulhamid II, this ideology was utilized to undermine the European colonialism in Muslim territories. It was an attempt to protect internal unity of Muslim subjects. However, the Albanian and later Arab revolts de-legitimized these claims of Panislamism. The young officers in the army under the influence of the Young Turk movement reacted to these developments with the ideology of Turkism. They began to aspire for the nation-state of the Turks.
As the collapse of the empire became unavoidable, the British and the French who contained the Russian expansion of their sphere of interests reversed their policy and demanded their own share, particularly in the context of the rise of Germany. The British and the French aspirations came to an agreement when they signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 to share the remaining Ottoman tenitory in the Middle East without the involvement of Germans and Russians. The German defeat in the First World War, in addition to the Russian Revolution of 1917, enabled them to monopolize shares of the Ottoman territories through the Treaty of Sevres in 1920. The Treaty of Sevres opened unreparable wounds in Turkish nationalism by dividing the remaining territories of the Ottoman Empire into several zones of occupation. While it allowed a small tenitory for Turkey in central Anatolia, it asked for the establishment of an independent Kurdistan in southeast Anatolia. The young Ottoman military officers reacted to this treaty furiously. They organized a popular resistance movement in Anatolia against the occupation under the commandership of Mustafa Kemal, who fought previously in Tripoli, the Balkans, and the Dardanelles battles. What came to be known as the Turkish War of Independence led to the formation of the Turkish Parliament in 1920 and eventually the Republic of Turkey in 1923.
The new regime was the result of a military campaign led by professional military bureaucrats, and this ensured subsequently the position of the military as the guardians of the regime. The new regime implemented a radical process of secularization reflecting the positivist views prevalent among the military bureaucracy of the late Ottoman period. The young generals, like the Meiji samurai in Japan, embarked upon a process of top-down modernization. They perceived themselves as leaders who thought on behalf of people what was the best for them. However, despite the attempt to "modernize" the country through Westernization, the military bureaucrats were always wary of Western designs to further disintegrate the country. The military elites personally experienced how the Ottoman Empire collapsed. The perceived cause for this collapse was the cultural and religious diversity of the empire, a diversity that could not face up to the challenge of nationalism. Hence, the new Turkey had to be based on the idea of one nation, one nationalism. Consequently, Turkey,was established on the imagined concept of national homogeneity in order to prevent any further territorial disintegration. This was cultural based nationalism that was comprehensive of all Muslims who happened to live in Anatolia. Kemalist nationalism adopted Ziya Gokalp's nationalism, which was less ethnically than culturally defined. Hence ironically despite the process of Westernization and de-Islamization, Islam was at the center of new Turkish citizenship. The founders of the Turkish Republic were members of the Muslim millet and its nationalists. At the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, Turkey rejected recognition of Kurds and other Muslim communities as minorities, while accepting at the same time recognition of non-Muslim citizens of Turkey, such as Jews, Armenians, and Greeks, as minorities. Turkey also agreed to exchange the Greek population in Turkey with the "Muslim" population in Greece. In a way, Turkey identified itself as the state for the Ottoman Muslim millet, who were simply called as Turks. With the later outbreak of the Kurdish issues, this had significant implications for its domestic system and foreign policy.
In comparison to Turkey, Japan had fewer problems to maintain its domestic political stability. Many scholars question the accuracy of modem Japan's ethnic or cultural homogeneity, but Tokugawa Japan was anything but homogeneous. The country was geographically divided into hostile domains that contrained mobility of their subjects by banning domestic and foreign travel. The country was also. socially divided into rigid classes, on top of which were proud samurai, the warrior class. The Meiji system was created by young nationalist samurai of rival domains, particularly Satsuma. They were dissappointed with Tokugawa's inability to dispel foreigners, but having failed to do so themselves, they turned their face to the West for inspiration about how to be strong. They concluded that a strong nation was the one that was socially united, becauseit needed professional armies. In this sense, Japan shared with Turkey an experience that modernization was a military necessity. Thus, these elites developed an identity of Westernism against their domestic opponents and their Eastern neighbors and anti Westernism against the West itself. The primary challenge for the Meiji Empire was therefore less ethnic than social: it had to carve a unified nation of Japan out of the old social caste system that placed the samurai class on top of all others.
Yet this task was relatively easier than the challenge that faced the Ottoman Empire to keep its ethnically and religiously diverse population loyal to the imperial unity. Japan succeeded in overcoming its question chiefly through its victories outside. Unlike Turkey, Japan was a Rising Sun; it was young, dynamic, and expanding. Through a Western-style liberal imperialism, Japan embarked upon an expansion in Asia in the name of a civilizational mission. Through its self-appointed role as the teacher of Asia, Japanese claimed Asia as their geoculturalsphere of interest. Japan's victory in the First World War gave it the right to participate in laying down the international system after the war. Yet it failed to have the international system endorse its empire. It failed to have the West recognize Japan as an equal race, which meant as equally rightful in colonization and imperial expansion. The Japanese disappointed and turned their face to panAsian imperialism. They did not give up their claim to teaching Asia, but this claim was not formulated as bringing civilization but rather organizing resistance against the West. Now Japan became the champion of Asian civilization for the defense of which Asia needed Japan even if it did not know it. In other words, the Meiji project of decoupling Japan from the China-centered Asian order was a success. Either through a liberal pro- Western or panAsian anti- Western imperialism, Japan put itself at the center of civilization, a claim that was not accepted by other Asians. The Second World War that was fought in Asia had Japan as allied with Germany and Italy on the one hand and all other Asians and Western powers on the other.
The Cold War: Identitv Politics in the Bipolar International System
Despite the fact that Turkey did not fight the war and thus was neither a defeated nor a victorious power, both Turkey and Japan were in a similar position when the Second World War ended and the Cold War started. Although Turkey and Japan are unrelated countries, geopolitically they shared a similar Russian/Soviet threat. In the Cold War context, they were both locked into an alliance with the United States. Arguably, Japan used this context to the best of its ability, whereas Turkey had to give more concessions. Rather than the inexperience of its diplomacy, this was arguably because of higher credibility of Soviet expansionary dreams into the Straits and Turkey's eastern borders. Thus, there was little possibility for Turkey to adapt the Yoshida Doctrine, the doctrine that allowed Japan to concentrate on its economy by minimizing its military contributions to the United States. During the Cold War, Turkish foreign policy was characterized by a strong commitment to the United States. However, there was still a visible difference between Kemalist foreign policy approach, which was characterized more by nationalism than by Westernism, and conservative center right, which enjoyed the support of lslamic cemaat groups but nevertheless followed a more West-centric foreign policy. In comparison, the center-right leaders Menderes and Demirel were willing to work more closely with the United States than CHP prime ministers of Ismet and Billent Ecevit. This was also because of the need for center right to support its political base with an external legitimacy source. The CHP, a political party that was established by Atatturk and claimed to represent his legacy, felt itself more at the center of military-dominated Turkish politics. In contrast, center-right political parties suffered from constant military interventions, which led to the execution of democratically elected Prime Minister Adnan Menderes and twice overthrowing governments of Stlleyman Demirel by the military. A similar dilemma influenced foreign policy of later center-right prime ministers such as Turgut Ozal and currently Tayyip Erdogan.
Thus, what one sees here is that power struggle among contending national identities at the domestic level reflects upon their positions on foreign policy. In comparison to Japan, Turkey has been marked by intense domestic identity debate as well as richer ethnic diversity, factors that have had significant implications for foreign policy; Although it was frequently argued that there was little room for identity to play a role during the Cold War, one can easily see a clash in Japan as well. The conflict was between Yoshida Shigeru and Kishi Nobusuke, which later extended into a conflict between the Yoshida School and the Kishi School. The conflict was not on whether the alliance with the United States was necessary. In this regard, Yoshida and Kishi agreed. The conflict was rather to what orientation this alliance could be utilized. Yoshida utilized very tactfully the alliance with the United States as an opportunity to minimize Japan's military commitment. He embraced the initial American policies of disarmament and purging of the old elites, most notably Kishi. Reportedly Yoshida opposed Kishi's de-purging later. Japan had to concentrate on economic development. Because rearmament was not only costly but also risky to worsen relations with Asia. History was in the mind of Yoshida, and he liked the idea of using history as a pretext to convince Americans that Japan could not militarize. Americans liked Yoshida and other liberals of the 1920s and early 1930s during the initial stages of occupation.
However, it soon became clear to the United States that Japan was not the enemy to tackle. Yesterday's friend became today's enemy, and the United Stated entered into a conflict of influence in the Pacific with the Soviet Union. Having lost the conflict over China. The United States needed Japan badly. The liberals were too good to be equivalents of Japan's McCarty. They needed to bring in more genuine anticommunists: the old guards of the imperial Japan who fought the war against the United States. They were ideologically more fanatically anticommunist than the Americans. Americans reversed their policies and de-purged a number of key politicians, including Kishi Nobusuke. Kishi was an astute politician. He escaped legal repercussions after the Second World War to work with the United States. Soon after released from prison, he became a friend of the United States, indeed their most trustable friend. Kishi renegotiated the terms of the San Francisco Treaty, terms of which reflected early American calculations. Japanese public opinion reacted strongly to his authoritarian and militaristic tendencies and eventually forced him to resign. .Subsequently it was the Yoshida Doctrine that shaped Japanese foreign policy orientation during much of the Cold War. However, Kishi established an enduring presence and influence in Japanese politics through his faction in the Liberal Democratic Party. Unlike Yoshida, Kishi wanted to utilize alliance with the United States to bring Japan back to its former status as an empire. His followers in politics trom Nakasone to Mori and Koizumi wanted to do the same. Although they lost the battle to the Yoshida School during much of the Cold War, when the Yoshida Doctrine became Japan's grand consensus, it was clear that the doctrine could not hold by the end of the Cold War. The first person to recognize this was Nakasone in the 1980s. Nakasone recognized that although the Yoshida Doctrine helped Japan to develop economically, Japan came to a point when it needed more identity than money. His solution was the restoration of Japanese pride in history and culture. For this aim, he made a controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. He desired to establish Japan as an international power through increased militarization and internationalization.
At the end, Nakasone did not bring substantial change in policy. He backtracked his Yasukuni Shrine policies, never repeating the visits again. He could not convince other LDP politicians to increase spending cap of more than 1 percent of the GDP. However, he understood that Japan needed an identity for the post-Cold War period, and the Yoshida Doctrine could no longer serve this function.
The Quest for Identity after the Cold War
The end of the Cold War removed on Turkey the pressure of the fear of Soviet expansionism. Meanwhile, the fall of the Soviet system in Central Asia, the Caucasia, and the Balkans significantly brought the Kemalist model of national homogeneity under question. Particularly, the Bosnian War of 1992 reminded Turkey of its Ottoman origins, putting its long sense of isolation trom history in question. The Kurdish refugee problem in the aftermath of the Gulf War was also a significant reminder of ethnic issues surrounding Turkey. The image of Turkey as an isolated, monolithic, and homogeneous nation was being shattered. These events, coupled by domestic crisis following unexpected death of Turgut Ozal in 1993, provided a fertile ground for the rise of challengers to Kemalist identity, most specifically political Islamism. In the 1995 general elections, the Islamically leaning Welfare Party emerged as the first. After a year of political maneuvering by the political establishment, the party leader, Necmettin Erbakan,became Turkey's first Islamistprime minister in a coalition government. After a year long initial toleration, the secularist establishment's reaction to this development came in the form of a soft military/bureaucratic coup, which came to be known as the 28th February process, ousting Erbakan from power and leading to a period of political instability.
In Japan, the Gulf War was also a significant point. Despite the fact that Japan covered an enormous sum of the war cost, it failed to win ''the respect" of not only the United States but arguably equally important, oil-rich Arab regimes. The Yoshida Doctrine shaped Japan's policy during the Gulf War. Yet the nationalist opponents within the LDP utilized this opportunity to strike against the liberals and come back from behind the shadow of the Cold War. However, the LDP itself was losing its political control due to repeated corruption scandals. In 1993, in an unprecedented event, the LDP lost the general elections. A coalition government formed, comprising smaller parties, including the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) and the conservative Liberal Party headed by former LDp-member Ozawa Ichire. The coalition did not survive more than a year. Ozawa's insistence for a assertive foreign policy met the resistence of the socialists, Ozawa asked for a stronger political and military role for Japan, and the socialists demanded a minimal one. When the JSP decided to scrap the deal and turn to the LDP for a coalition, the first and the last non-LDP government collapsed in 1994. In the same year, the LDP returned to power as the junior partner in a coalition government under a deal that made JSP leader Murayama prime minister. Socialists utilized this opportunity to implement their "German way" policy orientation, namely, Japan assuming responsibility for its past imperial policies.
This period again is a good case to analyze how different views of history and identity influence foreign policy debates and decisions. Socialists pressed for a parliamentary apology but failed to gain what they wanted in terms of actual text, due to pressure from nationalists in the LDP. In 1996, the LDP returned to power as the senior coalition partner, assuming the post of prime minister. Hashimoto Ryutaro, a student of the Yoshida School, was Japan's prime minister. Hashimoto's short tenure as prime minister was largely due to domestic scandals. However, it was also the case that the Yoshida School, came under increasing questioning from more nationalist elements within the LDP. Intra-LDP foreign policy debates focused on whether Japan reasserts itself as a political actor in world affairs.
Two significant developments signify the rise of identity politics in Turkey and Japan: the coming to power of the AKP and its leader Erdogan in Turkey and the rise of nationalists, including Koizumi and Abe, in Japanese politics. The AKP's landslide victory in the 2002 general elections was significant in regard to the fact that it was the first political party with Islamist roots capturing the center of Turkish politics. Yet Turkey has experienced many times -in recent history how similarly popular political parties melt away because of pressures from these powerful sources. Cognizant of this fact, the AKP has attempted to build strong coalitions with international powers. In other words, identity politics in domestic politics influenced foreign policy positions of these actors and forced them to. shift their perceptions of the international system. In this regard, the AKP's pro-European outlook and its desire to maintain close relations with the United States was an outcome of domestic identity conflicts. However, it would be mistaken to consider AKP's position in foreign policy simply as tactical. The party also reflects its increasingly better educated and globally mobile social forces such as the rise of Anatolian-based business groups. These social groups are increas.ingly more exposed to and demand participation in relations with the outside world, in the form of educational and business opportunities. In an ironic way, then, what one sees in Turkey is a process of Islamization of politics by means of participation of practicing young Muslim elite who seek close integration with the outside world. In contrast to increasingly closed-minded and nationalist attitudes of the secularist establishment, these Muslims consider globalization as an opportunity-expanding process and demand better use of it. One important difference between Japan and Turkey is that Japan's national identity conflict takes place primarily within the political establishment rather than between the political center and the periphery.
In Turkey, the political establishment has faced numerous challenges ftom the periphery in the form of electoral victories by conservative political parties. Since the 1950's when Turkey held its first democratic elections, there has been an intense conflict between the conservative political parties that dominated electoral politics and the political center who resisted challenges to its hegemony through militaristic measures. The Japanese political elite, however, have remained unchallenged since the 1868 Meiji restoration. With minor exceptions, members of a few large families have ruled Japan since then. In the absence of a conflict between the center and the periphery, Japanese identity conflict is primarily shaped by differences over foreign policy orientation.With the increasing ascendancy of nationalists in Japanese politics, Japan indicated its willingness to question its traditionally pacifist foreign policy orientation. The former Prime Minister Koizumi moved to position Japan away from the Yoshida Doctrine more decisively than ever. Koizumi asserted his foreign policy outlook through increasing Japan's participation in international conflicts such as the Afghan War and the Iraq War, in addition to paying controversial visits to the Yasukuni Shrine. There are some important points of difference as regards Japanese and Turkish identity politics. Despite the criticism of these visits from liberal circles in Japan because they violate the principle of secularism, Koizumi was not regarded. as a religious fundamentalist. Unlike Turkey, the debate in Japan is not centered on the role of religion per se. It is rather on the role of Japan in international politics. Members of the younger LDP leadership generation desire to return a normal power status, meaning combining Japan's economic power with a parallel military power and influence. They believe that they can do so only by getting rid of the guilt of history. Thus, in Japan history rather than religion is at the center of debate. Second, Koizumi did not represent a challenge to the center of the political establishment in Japan. Despite. the fact that the Yoshida School is particularly strong among Japanese bureaucrats, Koizumi represented continuity with the political system predating Second World War rather than representing a break from it. To a great extent, Japan's difference from Germany stemmed from the fact that the system was largely kept intact after the war. Despite the rise to hegemonic status of the Yoshida Doctrine, Kishi and his students had a strong influence in Japanese politics. With the election of Abe Shinzo to replace Koizumi in September 2006 as LDP president and Japan's prime minister, the nationalistic fonner Mori faction had three prime ministers in row which would correspond to the first decade of the twenty-first century by the end of Abe's term. This allows me to conclude that the return of the Kishi line to power has been largely consolidated.
The twin rewards of autonomy and prestige are within Japan's grasp for the first time in living memory. To reduce associated risks, Japan will be cautious. It will be normal. It will hedge. The security strategy and institutions abetting this hedge will be neither too hard nor too soft.
The Western orientation of Japanese foreign policy thus was established for Japan by the Meiji Westernization, symbolized by Fukuzawa Yukichi's call to break away from Asia. The national LDP faction that Koizumi and Abe represent reflects the influence of this mentality. They have resisted liberals at home who demanded closer integration with the East. In contrast, they maintained the old tradition of seeking cooperation with the West (the United States) against the East (North Korea and China). Japan's controversial participation in the Iraq War was a price for this policy; yet, it has not led to any real gain for Japan in regard to its corifrontation with North Korea. With the further rise of China to a hegemonic position in Asia and globally, Japan faces a dilemma of either "subjugating" itself to China and Chinese demands or continuing to resist the Chinese hegemony through external support. The first option appears to be out of question given the rise of nationalists to power. However, the difficulty of sustaining the second position depends on the availability of an outsider support for Japan's regional ambitions. Throughout the twentieth century, there was always an outsider power for Japan to build alliance with. However, with the rise of China as a world power, this may be more complicated. The liberals in Japan argue for a re-Asianization of Japan by means of self-questioning of national identity and history. They may gain power in the future to the extent to change Japan's policy orientation. Yet as long as the LDP continues to be the hegemonic party in Japanese politics, it will not steer Japan away from its traditionally Western-centric orientation. Hence, Japan will continue to tackle this dilemma. Similarly, the course for Turkey was established by a century of Westernization with strong domestic institutions and institutionalized integration within the West through NATO and the EU. The AKP's further Westernization of Turkey through the process of EU membership appears as a confirmation of the country's long established foreign policy tradition. Yet the AKP has modified the traditional Kemalist view of Westernization and reformulated it as a meeting of two civilizations by asserting Turkey's civilizational authenticity. The AKP also fmds itself in need of building coalitions against its domestic identity rivals or at least neutralizing their influence. In this regard, the only tangible and reliable powers and source oflegitimacy were the Western powers rather than the Islamic neighbors in the East, who themselves were under influence of the West.
Despite the rise of Islamism, or perhaps because of it, the Western foreign policy orientation of Turkey continues. What appeared to be the case in Turkey at the start of 2007, is that Islamism cannot be the challenge to this orientation because of the Islamist need and demand for international (Western) legitimacy as well as because of the rapid globalization of the Islamic social and business interests. Interestingly the only strong opposition to the Euprocess appears to come from the Kemalist movement which ironically used to claim the ideological monopoly of modernization and Westernization in the country.Anti-Western nationalist movement led by the Kemalist intellectual and political establishment is gaining strength in the context of the increasingly more apparent European rejection of Turkey. However, this issue is more complicated for them than it appears the end of the EU membership process with an outcome less than full membership. Hence Kemalists nationalists are likely to lose their prestige and power as a result of a failure to obtain full membership in the EC. In the same token, the Islamist discourse is poised to gain from such an outcome despite the AKP's sincere and genuine efforts to enter the EU. Hence the AKP or any other party representing that line of politics is in a position to gain both from the success and failure of the process depending on the tactical abilities of its leadership.