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Reframing the Armenian question in Turkey: news discourse and narratives of the past and present

Bezirgan, Bengi (2015) Reframing the Armenian question in Turkey: news discourse and narratives of the past and present. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

The problematical notion of the ‘Armenian question’ has become a political and linguistic tool for the official genocide denial ever since the foundation of the Turkish Republic, and has come to stand for the controversy that exists around the denial and recognition of the Armenian Genocide at both national and international levels. This research explores how the ‘Armenian question’ in Turkey opens up a discursive space in which various forms of Turkish nationalism are constructed and reproduced, and addresses multifaceted narratives from members of the Armenian community. By employing this term I aim to challenge the attempt to decontextualize collective acts of violence against Armenians, restricting them to the period of the Ottoman Empire, and indicate how this issue goes far beyond the politics of genocide. The objective of my research is to point out particular production and consumption phases of the Armenian question in Turkey. The production side focuses on three national newspapers in order to unveil overlapping and divergent discursive strategies in their coverage of three recent incidents, namely the assassination of Hrant Dink, the murder of Sevag Balıkçı, and the public protest against the Khojaly Massacre. In contrast, the consumption side embraces the perceptions and experiences of particular members of the Armenian community in Istanbul with respect to past and present occurrences. This research thus uncovers consistencies and contradictions between news discourse and the responses of the Armenian interviewees concerning three particular events and sheds light on the asymmetrical production and consumption patterns of the Armenian question in Turkey. Drawing on data from both a critical discourse analysis of three cases in three Turkish national newspapers and forty-five semi-structured interviews with Armenians, this qualitative study seeks to contribute to the growing body of research on the Armenian question and Turkish nationalism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2015 Bengi Bezirgan
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Savage, Mike
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3258

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