Turkey’s Public Diplomacy: The Role of Turkish Non-Governmental Organisations

Turhan Y.

Diplomacy and Statecraft, vol.34, no.2, pp.325-342, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09592296.2023.2213078
  • Journal Name: Diplomacy and Statecraft
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, American History and Life, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Public Administration Abstracts, Public Affairs Index, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.325-342
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


The ability of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to modify the status quo generates heated discussions in academia. The literature on this partnership identifies many potential loopholes which the former are enabled to fill in, a situation known as retreat of state. NGOs are influential actors in pursuing public diplomacy through non-ordinary and semi-formal ways assisting to forge genuine partnership with foreign public opinions, specifically in underdeveloped countries, to achieve the goals of their parent state. Turkish civil society actors, in this regard, promote Turkey’s image and mould its identity in an exemplary fashion in order to broaden the scope of Turkish soft power in tandem with state institutions. The NGO’s competences in reaching to isolated areas, engaging with local communities through aid and voluntary-based membership free from financial burden, work hand-in-hand with the state which forms an important part of the capacity to foster and facilitate a better image of Turkey. This research undertakes an analysis of NGO-led foreign aid activities, within the framework of the public diplomacy context, that lead in a spectrum of situations by using participatory methods. In particular, it scrutinises how Turkish NGOs’ aid activities portray Turkey’s public diplomacy, putting the country in good light. Effective Turkish humanitarian campaigns are used as a case study to further develop an understanding of Turkey’s public diplomacy initiatives.