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Graduate Program

Right-wing populism and Islamophobism in Europe and their impact on Turkey–EU relations

(2018) , Turkish Studies


This article aims to assess the relationship between populism and immigration in the European Union and their impact on EU–Turkey relations. Following a literature review on the current state of populist movements in the EU as well as on the findings of a comparative fieldwork conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Greece and the Netherlands, the article seeks to understand and explain how the debates on migration, refugees, mobility and Islam have an impact on the rise of extreme right-wing populism. Starting with the depiction of the main constituents of populist rhetoric in Europe vis-à-vis migrants and refugees, the article subsequently analyses social-economic, political and cultural drivers of populist extremism, and the resentment against diversity, multiculturalism, Islam, immigration and mobility among the supporters of populist parties in five selected European countries. In the last section of the article, the impact of right-wing populism and Islamophobia on the EU–Turkey relations will be analyzed.