Maneuvering strategically in a press conference to diminish political responsibility for a critical event The case of the soma mine disaster

Demir Y.

JOURNAL OF ARGUMENTATION IN CONTEXT, vol.5, no.2, pp.191-217, 2016 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1075/jaic.5.2.07dem
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.191-217
  • Keywords: accountability, critical event, political responsibility, pragma-dialectics, press conference, strategic maneuvering
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


It is an essential requirement of democracy that politicians provide account of their words and actions to the public. However, being able to account is especially important when a politician or the party he/she is representing is assumed responsible for a critical event that has undesirable consequences for the public. Under such a condition, political press conferences serve as an instrument for a politician to justify the position of the government by means of argumentation. By adopting the pragma-dialectical framework, this paper sets out to explain how a politician maneuvers strategically in a press conference for the purpose of diminishing political responsibility when his party which is in charge of the government is assumed responsible for a critical event. The paper draws its data from the political press conference held by Erdogan, a former Prime Minister of Turkey, following the mine accident that took place in Soma, Turkey, in 2014.