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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: 03 August 2021

Necropolitics, Martyrdom and Muslim Conscientious Objection

Necropolitics, Martyrdom and Muslim Conscientious Objection

(p.139) Seven Necropolitics, Martyrdom and Muslim Conscientious Objection
Turkey's Necropolitical Laboratory

Pınar Kemerli

Edinburgh University Press

The war between Turkey and the Kurdish liberation movement has been the site of multiple forms of necropolitical violence, including killing and torture, indiscriminate exposure of the Kurdish population to state violence, and recently, the desecration of the Kurdish dead and prevention of customary burial practices. Military conscription and martyrdom discourses have been complicit in not only justifying this necropolitical violence, but also inspiring enthusiasm to participate in it as a form of national and religious duty. In this chapter, I examine the role played by militaristic invocations of Islamic warfare and martyrdom in the Turkish conscript army in the legitimisation of necropolitical violence from the perspective of those who refuse this necropoliticisation: a group of Muslim Conscientious Objectors (COs) who refuse the draft and peacefully accept the consequences of their criminalised refusal. Disputing the state’s necropoliticisation of theological concepts, Muslim COs marshal dissenting interpretations of Islamic martyrdom through their own readings of the religious texts and other resources derived from Islamic political thought and history. In the hands of Muslim COs, Islamic martyrdom becomes a form of life-affirmation to be achieved through refusing necropolitical violence, thereby suggesting conscientious objection to be a possible venue to resist necropolitics.

Keywords:   martyrdom, militarism, conscientious objection, war, necropolitics, resistance, refusal

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