The most difficult thing in Nation Branding seems to be the political differences within the country. On one hand, you want to reflect a unified image to the rest of the world and on the other hand, well, you don’t have a unified image.
As some of you may have heard, Turkey had an election on Sunday. Apart from the five people losing their lives in clashes and a major computer break down, everything went okay. The ruling party, Justice and Development Party, got nearly 38% of the votes. JDP “won” the elections, but lost nearly 9% since the general elections in 2007.
The map below is taken from a Turkish daily newspaper Zaman and it pretty much summarizes Turkey’s biggest weakness in Nation Branding.
The Social Democrats (illustrated in crimson) are only able to win in Western coastal cities. My hometown, Izmir, had 30 positions and although JDP got 38% of national votes, they got 0 out of these 30 positions. In short, apart from lacking a unified image, Turkey has a “stratified” political structure. South-eastern region votes for the Kurdish nationalist party (Democratic Society Party – Demokrat Toplum Partisi – DTP)(light blue). The rest is divided between the nationalist (Nationalist Movement Party) and conservative JDP.
Time to think, time to figure out a unifying vision for the Turkish nation.