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Discourse and Identity in Turkish Media

Edited By Süheyla Nil Mustafa and Ayşe Dilara Bostan

Mainstream media offer audiences identities in accordance with certain definitions of “normal behavior” as given in hegemonic discourses. This book explores the hegemonic/normative discourses circulating in the Turkish mainstream media. Such an analysis provides the mental codes and frameworks offered to the ordinary Turkish people “subjected” to the mass media throughout their daily lives. Each chapter employs different methods for discursive analysis and media formats. Since the authors inquire into the socio-political reality and conjunctures upon which these media discourses are constituted, the book offers much to those readers investigating both the Turkish media and the socio-political transformation that took place in Turkey in the past two decades.

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Chapter 5 Reproduction of the Kurdish Cultural Identity in TRT Kûrdi (Aysel Ay)

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Aysel Ay

Abstract: TRT Kûrdi is among the thirteen different TV channels that TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) contains within itself. As the first and only channel that broadcasts in Kurdish in Turkey, TRT Kûrdi started 24 hours broadcasting with the name TRT 6 in January 2009. The channel, which was named TRT Kûrdi in January 2015, broadcasts in the Kirmanci, Sorani and Zazaki dialects of the Kurdish language. However, most of the programs are in the Kirmanci dialect since it is more widely spoken in Turkey. The broadcast stream of TRT Kûrdi includes TV series, movies and also a wide range of programs about culture, music, entertainment, news, children, education, and sports. The fact that TRT Kûrdi has a variety of programs rather than focusing on a specific theme is an indication that Kurdish cultural identity is being rebuilt through this channel.

Although TRT Kûrdi is a public broadcasting channel, it is considered that it cannot be independent from the discourse of state power. For this reason, it is argued that the “Kurdish” subjectivity and thus the Kurdish cultural identity are defined and reproduced by the norms set in the hegemonic discourses of TRT Kûrdi. This study will explore the discursive positioning of the Kurdish normative subject in the state’s broadcasting TV channel. For that end, the series Ciran Ciran will be analyzed in the context of the subject positions created for Kurdish cultural identity by using...

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