The discursive framing of Turkey's pro-government town square movement

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


According to the official narrative, Turkey's July 15th, 2016 attempted coup featured a renegade faction of the Turkish military that was overtaken by fearless citizens who answered the president's call to crowd town squares and preserve democracy. During the following months, state ideology that indexed this populist narrative flooded the linguistic landscape. Simultaneously, a large-scale purge of government employees took place. Drawing on a larger corpus of signs containing 238 billboards, the current paper employs critical discourse analysis and geosemiotics to investigate three government-sponsored billboards’ discursive and semiotic framing of the coup attempt to gain insights into some of the techniques that inspired and sustained the pro-government town square movement. The analysis shows the mechanisms through which populist, nationalist slogans use intertextuality to tap into deeply familiar discourses from Turkey's founding narrative that ultimate help to legitimize the purge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-608
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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