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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

Money for Life: Border Killings, Compensation Claims and Life-Money Conversions in Turkey’s Kurdish Borderlands

Money for Life: Border Killings, Compensation Claims and Life-Money Conversions in Turkey’s Kurdish Borderlands

Chapter:
(p.187) Nine Money for Life: Border Killings, Compensation Claims and Life-Money Conversions in Turkey’s Kurdish Borderlands
Source:
Turkey's Necropolitical Laboratory
Author(s):

Fırat Bozçalı

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474450263.003.0009

This chapter examines the state’s necropolitical management of cross-border mobility and the border killings that border patrols committed in Turkey’s Kurdish borderlands. Based on ethnographic research among Kurdish litigants and human rights lawyers in courtrooms and border villages of Van Province, the chapter examines compensation claims that Kurdish litigants pursued for the border killings at Turkish courts. Although most of the killing cases resulted in criminal impunity and individual perpetrators were often exonerated from criminal liability, compensation claims can still be pursued to hold state authorities financially responsible for the killings. The chapter discusses how Kurdish litigants and their lawyers articulated the state’s financial responsibility as an alternative form of justice-seeking and gave political-symbolic meanings to compensation claims. Examining the ways in which Turkish courts converted the lost lives into money value through factual as well as counterfactual legal, social, economic and biological assumptions, it further documents that the compensation awards often fell short of compensating the lost livelihoods and Kurdish litigants were compelled to engage back in smuggling and face a constant risk of death. The chapter ultimately shows the co-constituted and co-exercised political and economic subjugation of lives and livelihoods in Turkey’s Kurdish borderlands.

Keywords:   Borders, border killings, law, compensation, Kurds, livelihood, courts, criminal impunity, justice-seeking

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