Framing as a Social Movement’s Transnational Strategy: The Gülen Movement’s EU-Turkey Discourses in the Post-2016 Online Media

Keywords: Gülen movement, transnational, social movement, AKP, Erdoğan, media, framing


This paper focuses on framing as a social movement’s transnational strategy. Applying the cultural approach to framing analysis, it investigates how the Gülen movement, as a social group with restricted access to national gatekeepers, uses discourse to internationalise a domestic power struggle with a powerful opponent. Moving the struggle to the international arena presents a discursive opportunity that determines which ideas become visible and legitimate both internationally and nationally. The importance of such internationalization increases in times of conflict and the media play a vital role in this process. The paper argues that the editors of the pro-Gülen movement foreign online platforms established after the movement was forced into exile following the failed 2016 coup, use strategic framing to tailor their frames for the host context and culture. That increases the resonance of their frames and the potential of the discursive opportunity. The article confirms the previous findings that media are a crucial resource for transnational social movements because policymakers are sensitive to public opinion, which is shaped by media frames.

Author Biography

Lucie Tungul, Palacky University Olomouc, Czech Republic

Lucie Tungul graduated from Miami University, Ohio (international relations), and Palacky University in Olomouc (politics and European studies). Her areas of interest are European integration with a special focus on Europeanization, democratization, EU decision-making processes, Euroscepticism, migration processes and identity discourses. She is Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics and Social Sciences at the Faculty of Law, Palacky University, Czechia. She worked at Fatih University, Istanbul between 2006 and 2016. She is a member of the Czech Political Science Association Executive Board and the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies Academic Council.

Research Articles