Jazz as soft power in Turkey–US relations during the early Cold War period
AuthorKaynak, Elif Çağlı
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CitationElif Çağlı Kaynak (2023): Jazz as Soft Power in Turkey–US Relations During the Early Cold War Period, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, DOI: 10.1080/19448953.2023.2233361
The 1950s was an era when Turkish-US relations were developing in various arenas. In addition to hard power instruments, such as NATO membership, the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Aid, elements of soft power were also being used to promote the relationship between the two states. One element of this latter power was jazz which became tool of US public diplomacy used to export its cultural values. This paper explores how jazz was used as such in Turkey–US relations in the 1950s. The original aspect of this article lies in its dealing with the influence of jazz music, a relatively little mentioned soft power element in Turkey–US relations of this period. The main finding of the article may be conceptualized as follows: Turkey’s relationship with the US was based not only on economic and military interests, but also cultural ties between the two which were also crucial to strengthening their bilateral relations. In this context, musicians were key agents of cultural diplomacy with their music and songs legitimizing a new and different 20th century.
SourceJournal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies