Screen sultans: The Neo-Ottomanist rebranding of Turkey through television dramas - AND - Opportunities and barriers to achieve digital inclusion for people with disabilities: A comparative analysis

Date created: 
Neo-Ottomanist branding strategies
Television series
Television dramas
Hakan: The Protector
Hakan: Muhafiz
Cultural production
Turkey's popular culture
National identity, nation branding
Soft power
Foreign policy
Digital inclusion
Information communication technologies (ICTs)
People with disabilities, participatory culture
Digital divide
Web accessibility

Essay 1: This essay focuses on Turkey’s Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party - AKP) government’s strategic use of neo-Ottomanist nation-branding efforts as a soft power tool through the production and broadcasting of its transnational Turkish soap operas. This study examines these national rebranding efforts by analyzing a particular exemplar program entitled Hakan: The Protector (Hakan: Muhafiz). Hakan is the first Turkish Netflix series that is designed to appeal global transnational audiences, including viewers in neighbouring Middle Eastern countries, nations formerly occupied by the Ottoman Empire, and the West. This paper attempts to showcase how, through the examination of the story of Hakan, Ottoman historical revival and Islamic traditions are invoked in a modern Turkish television production that depicts contemporary society and mimics socio-political changes currently taking place in the country under the rule of the AKP. Essay 2: Questions related to use of technologies delve deeply into discourses and experiences surrounding disability and technology and highlight the ways in which default modes of engagement and access are not accessible for users with all abilities. This study involves a comparative analysis of diverse scholarly works on the digital inclusion for people with disabilities by highlighting the potential to connect across disciplines as queer, feminist and digital media studies to acknowledge forms of difference related to disabilities also as a basis for gender, race, and class inequalities embedded into the design and organizational practices. The right to access ICTs invokes civil and human rights issues such as freedom of expression, freedom to information, political participation, civic engagement and inclusive education. Therefore, access is at the core of the legal definition of the public space and, to a great extent, online communication does meet accessibility requirements for many disabled people. In the realm of digital public sphere, digital inclusion and accessibility are essential to enable an inclusive participation for all.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Adel Iskandar
Martin Laba
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essays) M.A.