Turkish Newspapers’ role in winning votes and exasperating Turkish-Kurdish relations: The Ağrı shootings

Way, Lyndon and Kaya, Ece Nur (2016) Turkish Newspapers’ role in winning votes and exasperating Turkish-Kurdish relations: The Ağrı shootings. Discourse and Communication, 10 (1). pp. 82-100. ISSN 1750 4813

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Relations between Turkish authorities and their Kurdish minority have been a source of conflict for decades. On 11 April 2015, in the run up to Turkey’s parliamentary elections, a gun fight broke out in the South Eastern province of Ağrı resulting in six Kurdish people dead and four Turkish military personnel wounded. Though sqirmishes like this are not unusual, this caught the public imagination as it became clear Kurdish civilians helped wounded Turkish soldiers after the shoot-out. The government denied such help and was keen to place the blame for the fight on the Kurdish opposition in its attempt to dissuade the public from voting for Kurdish-oriented parties, thereby increasing their chances of securing a parliamentary majority. The Kurds were keen to do the same to the government for the sake of votes, whilst the mainstream opposition saw this as an opportunity to represent the government and Kurds as poor voting options. The Turkish media, polarized and closely aligned to political interests, recontextualised events in ways which showed their political ties. This paper uses Critical Discourse Analysis to show how this was done in three national newspapers. Furthermore, the paper argues representations as such do nothing to aid in solving the decades old problem of how Turks and Kurds can coexist peacefully.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's post peer review version of an article, the final version of which is published in the Sage Publications journal Discourse and Communication https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481315611241
Keywords: Kurdish problem, Turkey, critical discourse analysis, Ağrı, newspapers, social actors, PKK, Kurds, AKP, populism, Kemalism
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Media and Communication
Depositing User: Lyndon Way
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2017 13:53
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2017 13:53
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2158

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