Negotiating ‘Turkishness’ in North Cyprus

Boone, Katherine (2016) Negotiating ‘Turkishness’ in North Cyprus. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Since the inception of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983, the TRNC government has attempted to construct and promote a collective national identity through various means, including but not limited to heritage projects, new place names, and the standardization of history textbooks used in public education. The TRNC government placed emphasis on ‘Turkishness’ in order to form a single and unified culture that had continuity with past historical ties to Turkey. Over time and in response to various external and internal political, economic, cultural and social events, the TRNC government’s construction of a collective national identity has been continuously
redefined and reshaped to promote a more ‘Cypriot’ past, distancing itself from past historical ties to Turkey.
Turkish Cypriots, however, do not merely absorb the official constructions of national identity; they negotiate and construct their own more nuanced understanding of that identity. How do Turkish Cypriots negotiate understandings of ‘Turkishness’? Through
ethnographic field research in the TRNC and secondary sources this dissertation illustrates the ways in which national identity is constructed by Turkish Cypriots, negotiated with state constructions of national identity, and reproduced through everyday practices. Through these constructions and negotiations, Turkish Cypriots fluctuate
between rejecting Turkey as an outside oppressor and excluding people from Turkey as other’, to accepting Turkey as the ‘Motherland’ and including people from Turkey as part of their national community
This dissertation highlights the fabricated nature of ‘Turkishness’ and disentangles the ways in which understandings of ‘Turkishness’ are negotiated and reproduced by Turkish Cypriots. This dissertation posits that Turkish Cypriots are not shifting between Turkish nationalism and Cypriot nationalism, but rather these everyday negotiations of ‘Turkishness’ by Turkish Cypriots produce a distinct Turkish Cypriot demotic nationalism from ‘below’.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Brian Watkins
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2017 15:17
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 15:17
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/64174
DOI:

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