"Try A Taste of Turkey": An analysis of Turkey's representation in British newspapers' travel sections
This article explores the cultural representation of Turkey as a travel destination for British tourists. Drawing on findings from a qualitative content analysis of 99 travel features published in three British broadsheet and three tabloid papers over a five-year period, we investigate the content and form of travel journalism as a journalistic genre dedicated to the representation of far-away places and the "Others" who live there. Looking at generic conventions and representations of Turkey at three levels-geography, landscape and culture, and the Turkish people-we found remarkable commonalities between broadsheet and tabloid travel journalism, although they have different institutional structures and cater to different audiences. Travel journalism as a practice is upbeat, positive, service-oriented and driven by market forces. The language is hyperbolic and flowery. In direct contrast with Turkey's negative framing in European political journalism, travel journalism frames the country positively: as a stunning, risk-free travel destination readers can dream about. Through the gatekeeping of travel journalists, Turkey is filtered, packaged and made consumable, allowing British readers to fantasise about an exotic and mysterious place with gorgeous beaches. Turkey also is presented as a country with an oriental and authentic flavour geographically "in" Europe, but different from Europe. The Turks are orientalised and introduced to the Western reader as Others. We argue that both the linguistic conventions and the representational politics of travel journalism are inclined to commodify countries with new practices of consumerism.