Dealing with the Past as a Political Instrument for Present in an Egalophobic Society: Commemoration of the Centenary of 1915 in Turkey
April 17, 2017; 4-5:30PM
April 17, 2017; 4-5:30PM
Columbia University, PhD candidate in Anthropology
Every year, more than a million laborers organize in kin groups and travel from the urban and semi-urban areas of the Kurdish region to the rural areas of western of Turkey to stay and work there for several months. Unlike the labor migration from the Kurdish region to urban areas where it is mostly the Kurdish men that integrate into the insecure and temporary labor markets, temporary labor migration to rural areas mainly depend on the monetary valuation of women and teenagers’ labor. While the migrant characteristic of these jobs expose women and teenagers to new encounters and life experiences, the main reason laboring in a context of kinship in the rural areas is regarded as appropriate for women and teenagers is the very control the men and the elders of the family have over these social encounters and the limited prospects of sociality rural areas offer compared to that provided by the city. In this paper, I focus on the embodied and affective circulation of urban middle class desires, the gendered dynamics of family labor, and the modern spatial imaginaries of the rural/urban divide intersected by the West/the East divide. By doing so, I unpack the social formations and subjectivities generated through this labor practice that tether the political economy of the Kurdish region to that of Turkey in a very particular way.
Princeton University, PhD candidate in Anthropology
This paper ethnographically documents personal and communal stories of Kurdish migrant settlement in inner city Istanbul. In the context of the resurgence of the war between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Kurdish migrant workers in Istanbul remember and speak of violence in self-defense as a tool to enter the social and economic scene of the city, and thus as an important part of their struggle for subsistence and dignity. In the intersection between the ethical and the political lays the fundamental question of legitimate use of violence. While the recent anthropological work focuses on the ethical claims made by states and transnational institutions regarding the use of violence in these “troubled waters” at the confluence of ethics and politics, I explore the ways in which the justness of violence –as a contingent frame- is enacted in self-defense against state violence and what kinds of social relations emerge as a response. Violence as self-defense is conceived and narrated as a form of care through which Kurdish community is built in Istanbul, “the world’s biggest Kurdish city.” Care for others is an ethical practice that leads to formation of a moral and political community, though not one that is free from uncertainties and contradictions.
Date and Time: March 15, 5-7pm
Location: Angell Hall G168
For more information,
Informal Conversation with Graduate Students and Faculty
Hosted by Studies on Turkey
Monday, November 7th, 2016
6-7:30 PM, LSA 4154
State’s Passion and Kurdish Bodies:
A Photographic Account of the History of the Kurdish Liberation Struggle in Turkey
Hosted by the Department of Sociology and Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies.
Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
Studies on Turkey
A University of Michigan Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop
Kürdistan Yerellerinde Devlet Şiddeti ve Kürtler Arası Çatışmalar:
Tarih, Hafıza ve Deneyim
School of Social Work, Room 1794
We are starting Studies on Turkey workshop’s Fall 2016 meetings with Adnan Çelik’s talk on Friday, October 28 at SSW 1794. This session will be held in Turkish only.
Please RSVP by responding to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by Wednesday October 26 if you are planning to join us. Click here for Çelik’s article “1990’s State of Emergency and War: Violence and Resistance in Kurdistan Localities”.
Pınar & Özge