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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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Another Necropolitics

Another Necropolitics

Ten Another Necropolitics
Turkey's Necropolitical Laboratory

Banu Bargu

Edinburgh University Press

Necropolitics is often used to denote how the living is subjected to the power of death and destruction. Omitted from this conceptualisation is the violence that takes as its object the realm of the dead – the corpse, the act of burial, funerary rituals, the graves and cemeteries as sites of burial and commemoration, and forms of mourning and reverence. In this chapter, I examine different forms of postmortem violence directed at insurgent bodies. I focus on the image of the naked and bloody corpse of a woman, later revealed to be a Kurdish militant and guerrilla fighter known as Ekin Wan, leaked to the press in the period of Turkey’s hung parliament in the summer of 2015. I argue that the circulation of her denuded image after being killed in combat with the state’s security forces was a symptom of the end of the peace process and the beginning of Turkey’s new authoritarianism. I theorise violence that targets the realm of the dead as a distinctive and neglected form of necropolitics and necropolitical violence as the entire ensemble of practices that target the dead as a surrogate for, and means of, controlling the living.

Keywords:   Corpse, burial, funerary rituals, cemetery, body, postmortem violence, the dead, desecration, Kurds, peace process

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