Weapons of the Strong: Conspiracy Theories, Political Elites, and Media in Turkey

Matthew Goldman
2019 Dragomanen: Årsskrift utgiven av Svenska Forskningsinstitutet i Istanbul  
This article presents a brief case study showing a relationship between changes in the political economy of the Turkish media and the prevalence of conspiracy theories in elite political discourse. It argues that the AK Party elites largely refrained from reliance on conspiracy theories as a political tool until after cultivating a friendly media ecosystem. This supports the argument that political elites tend to perform cost–benefit analyses and will not weaponize conspiracy theories unless
more » ... theories unless they perceive a favourable communications environment in which to do so. Politicians can attempt to use conspiracy theories as effective rhetorical tools against their opponents, but, in a critical media ecosystem, they will refrain from doing so because of the costs to their reputations that such allegations can impose.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.4501629 fatcat:v2uglvxlkzgvtknefzxwyjubgy