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The Mediation of Cultural Identities: Changing Practices and Policies in Contemporary Turkey

Yanardağoğlu, E. (2008). The Mediation of Cultural Identities: Changing Practices and Policies in Contemporary Turkey. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


The growing complexity of European societies continues to raise questions in a number of policy areas of how to accommodate ethnic and linguistic diversity. In the realm of media, current research indicates that the implementation of new practices and policies in culturally diverse societies are implicated in questions of rights and citizenship – features of ‘national’ identity that are themselves increasingly being challenged and shaped by global and transnational processes.

This study investigates these issues in the context of Turkey. It focuses on the ways in which Turkey’s regime for mediating cultural identities has been transformed since its acceptance as a candidate state to the European Union in 1999. Between 2001 and 2004, as part of its ‘Harmonisation’ with the political requirements of EU membership, Turkey underwent a significant and comprehensive series of democratisation reforms, and officially entered membership negotiations in October 2005.

In terms of media, the introduction of broadcasting in languages other than Turkish has been one of the more radical reforms. This is because, despite the existence of a traditional media regime catering for officially recognised non-Muslim minorities, the recognition of cultural rights in the media for other ethnically or linguistically different groups, such as the Kurds, has been amongst the most disputed topics in contemporary Turkey.

Therefore, this research reviews the origins of the ‘old’ minority media regime for non-Muslim communities, and explores the external and internal dynamics that have transformed media policy and practice during the Europeanisation period. The main finding of the research is that the mediation of cultural identities has indeed been democratised over the last decade, with the Europeanisation process acting as a significant leverage for change. However, this thesis also reveals how Turkey’s national framework has acted selectively in its compliance and resistance to transnational challenges, especially when they have encroached on the core sensitivities in Turkish political culture.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
School of Policy & Global Affairs > School of Policy & Global Affairs Doctoral Theses
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