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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: 30 July 2021

Neither Civilian nor Combatant: Weaponised Spaces and Spatialised Bodies in Cizre

Neither Civilian nor Combatant: Weaponised Spaces and Spatialised Bodies in Cizre

(p.71) Four Neither Civilian nor Combatant: Weaponised Spaces and Spatialised Bodies in Cizre
Turkey's Necropolitical Laboratory

Haydar Darıcı

Serra Hakyemez

Edinburgh University Press

What kind of work does the categorical distinction between combatant and civilian do in the interplay of the necropolitics and biopower of the Turkish state? This paper focuses on a time period (2015-2016) in the history of the Kurdish conflict when that distinction was no longer operable as the war tactics of the Kurdish movement shifted from guerrilla attacks of hit and run in the mountains to the self-defence of residents in urban centres. It reveals the limit of inciting compassion through the figure of civilian who is assumed to entertain a pre-political life that is directed towards mere survival. It also shows how the government reconstructs the dead bodies using forensics and technoscience in order to portray what is considered by Kurdish human rights organizations civilians as combatants exercising necroresistance. As long as the civilian-combatant distinction remains and serves as the only episteme of war to defend the right to life, the state is enabled to entertain not only the right to kill, but also to turn the dead into the perpetrators of their own killing. Finally, this paper argues that law and violence, on the one hand, and the right to life and the act of killing on the other, are not two polar opposites but are mutually constitutive of each other in the remaking of state sovereignty put in crisis by the Kurdish movement's self-defence practices.

Keywords:   counterinsurgency, political violence, humanitarianism, spaces of death, forensics, law

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