September-December 2020



Conducted by

Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”

Lead researchers

Yevgeniya Gaber, Maryna Vorotnyuk

About this project

The perception of Ukraine in Turkey is part of a comprehensive project to study the perception of Ukraine and Ukrainian culture abroad in a number of countries identified as priority and important in the Ukrainian Institute’s Strategy for 2020-2024.

For the first time, the project explores the attitudes and expectations of foreign audiences regarding Ukraine, its culture and opportunities for cooperation, their awareness of modern culture and cultural heritage of Ukraine.

The research was carried out by the method of in-depth expert interviews with representatives of foreign institutions in the field of culture, education, science, civil society, as well as local and central authorities, the diplomatic corps, international organizations, the Ukrainian professional environment abroad and foreign Ukrainians.

The results of the research made it possible to determine the most popular formats of cultural diplomacy projects at the bilateral level and develop work plans for the Ukrainian Institute.



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Ukraine’s perception in Turkey

  • Despite the geographical proximity and common historical heritage, Ukraine is still not perceived in Turkey as a separate country/culture, although independence is well known.
  • Ukraine is consistently associated with the concept of “struggle”, and mostly in positive connotations. This is even more tangible among representatives of the Crimean Tatar diaspora, for whom Ukraine is becoming a synonym for the struggle for justice, freedom and human rights.
  • Ukraine is interesting for Turkish people in the context of new opportunities and the growing role of Ukraine for the region, as well as the experience of the formation of the Ukrainian nation as a case for their research.
  • Most of the news about Ukraine is written by Turkish special correspondents who are based in Moscow and do not speak Ukrainian, and the history of the post-Soviet countries is being studied with the help of Russian sources by Turkish Russian-speaking historians. 
  • Many associations are connected with the Crimea and the fate of the Crimean Tatars. More often Crimea is mentioned in a historical context (the times of the Ottoman Empire) and in the context of Russian occupation.

Participants of public discussion on the research

  • Yevheniia Haber, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ukraine
  • Andrii Sybiha, Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey
  • Oleksandr Halenko, historian, turkologist
  • Olena Yershova, Film producer (Istanbul)
  • Moderator — Nadiia Koval, Head of Information and Analytics of the Ukrainian Institute

Watch the discussion


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