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Turkey's Necropolitical LaboratoryDemocracy, Violence and Resistance$
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Banu Bargu

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474450263

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474450263.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 24 July 2021

‘These are ordinary things’: Regulation of Death under the AKP Regime

‘These are ordinary things’: Regulation of Death under the AKP Regime

(p.25) Two ‘These are ordinary things’: Regulation of Death under the AKP Regime
Turkey's Necropolitical Laboratory

Onur Bakıner

Edinburgh University Press

Turkey is far from being the most violent place in the world, but for those who find themselves vulnerable due to their socioeconomic, political, and gender identities and positions, death is an all-too-real possibility. Large-scale death as a result of government action, complicity or inaction is nothing new in Turkey, but I argue that the AKP regime has enacted a remarkable shift in how courts and government officials address incidents resulting in death, what ordinary citizens are allowed to know and discuss about those deaths, and what kinds of demands for redress the relatives of the deceased can make. I identify four strategies through which the AKP regime regulates death: (1) the expansion of martyrdom, a concept hitherto used as a religious justification for military casualties, into the civilian sphere, and the increasing distribution of material benefits through formal laws and informal government discretion regulating civilian and military conceptions of martyrdom; (2) the normalisation of death as an inherent feature of some citizens’ occupational, and socioeconomic,  and in some cases, gender position; (3) the depoliticisation of death to eliminate the risk of dissident mobilisation after deadly incidents; and (4) controlling the narrative around the news of death to maintain discursive hegemony.

Keywords:   martyrdom, normalisation of death, depoliticisation of death, civilian martyrdom

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