In the run-up to the EU summit on the opening of accession negotiations with Turkey, the country has carried out substantial PR efforts to influence decision-makers and opinion leaders. These now continue to ensure full membership. This article in Politik & Kommunikation (in German) analyses the communication strategies.
The objective of the information and communication strategies of Turkey has been to change the often negative perceptions of Turkey in the populations and among political leaders in key countries such as Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium in order to improve Turkey’s image and, thereby, its EU membership perspective.
In order to counteract prejudice, communication efforts concentrate on the benefits of EU accession in the areas of security, stability and growth. Furthermore, the ministry for culture and tourism, the foreign affairs ministry and several NGOs have organised a number of cultural events. Turkish NGOs are to be increasingly involved in coordinated PR efforts.
Members of the Turkish communication group ABIG have focused on media work, information events and contacts with opinion leaders and the press. Two of the member organisations of ABIG, the Association of Turkish Industrialists TÜSIAD and the Foundation for Economical Development IKV, both have representations in Brussels. Furthermore, TÜSIAD is also present in Berlin and Paris, and plans to open an office in London to be closer to national, political and economic leaders. However, so far the lack of empirical evidence has made it difficult to estimate the outcome of the PR efforts of ABIG.
The image campaign of Turkey will be further intensified as membership negotiations start and referenda in member states (as in France, England and Spain) draw closer.