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The Discourses and Displacement of English in Turkey

Edited By Eser Ördem

This book examines the negative effect of English on other cultures and languages. English (or any colonial language) is closely related to the spread of neoliberalism and neocolonialism. Therefore, radical pedagogy and human rights are recommended as achieavable aims so that the dominant status of English can be displaced. Therefore, new discourses should be developed to oppose the colonial, necolonial and neoliberal discourses regarding English. The mandatory state of English in Turkey needs to be displaced through the inclusion of radical pedagogy which opens up space for participatory democracy. The new task of the non-English-speaking countries is to ban the neoliberal expansion of English. A world without a lingua franca is possible and could produce emancipatory sociopolitical spaces to support super diversity.

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Chapter 3: Orientalism, Occidentalism and Anglicism


Abstract: This chapter problematizes the spread of English in Turkey within the framework of Orientalism and Occidentalism. Why Turkey largely adopts the so-called western languages might be related to Orientalism and Occidentalism. Colonialism and modernization can be regarded as Orientalist constructions and discourses. The so-called West constitutes itself as dynamic, superior, model, ideal and sovereign, while the so-called East is formed as ahistorical, stagnant, and inferior and copy. The expansion of English emanates from the fact that Turkey accepts the United Kingdom and the USA as modern, ideal, superior, western, progressive. Thus, without radically criticizing these Orientalist perspectives and developing counter-discourses, English in Turkey can be easily spread from pre-schools to university through corporates. Therefore, I contend that the adherents of the English language in Turkey may also create their own Orientalist identities to remain within the paradigm of modernity and westernization. However, opposing Orientalism is not tantamount to supporting pure nation-state ideology and prescriptive approach towards the purification of Turkish. Rather, this radical approach adopts a political geography where political cardinal directions such as West and East fall to pieces and where heteroglossia and polyphonic voices find forms.

Keywords: Orientalism, Occidentalism, Anglicism, heteroglossia, modernization

Every Orientalist began his career as a philologist

(Edward Said, 1979, p. 98)

Orientalist and Anglicist discourses were complementary aspects of colonialism.

(Alastair Pennycook, 2017, p. 89)

Occidentalism has trapped and imprisoned the political imagination in Turkey in a game of display/intimacy, in...

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