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Title: Political fictions and fictional politics : a comparative study of the political unconscious in the Turkish and Kurdish novel
Author: Erdem, Servet
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 6205
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis presents a comparative and interdisciplinary investigation into the relationship between politics and the Turkish and Kurdish novels, which are treated not only as artistic constructions but also as socio-cultural and historical artefacts. The primary objective of this investigation is to understand the principle social, political, and historical reasons and root causes behind the close relationship between politics and literatures in Turkey and the principle socio-political and literary ramifications of such strong relationship. Towards this end, the thesis focuses on four main themes: language, love, religion, and history. Besides being the most common novelistic themes in the Turkish and Kurdish literary institutions, these are inherently heavily politicised and ethno-nationalistically charged themes - thus especially suitable for such inquiry. In line with this politico-historical and literary vein, the thesis also discusses some of the main political questions in Turkey, viz., the reasons behind the failure of Turkish democracy, its maladies and the resultant deadlock on some of the most important issues of the modern history of the country such as the Kurdish imbroglio and the conflict of secularisation and Islam. As the discussions on politics of love, language, religion, and history show, profound ideological competitions and antagonisms do not necessarily mean divergent political and literary structures. As such, the strong links between the Turkish and Kurdish literary institutions, as well as the ordeal of the Kurdish question and democratisation in Turkey, is as much caused by rival nationalisms, hostile ideological positions, and the like as by congruity, parallel political visions, and similar power structures. The main argument of the thesis, thus, is that the Kurdish and Turkish literary, political, and intellectual actors could not contribute towards the solution of the persistent political and literary questions in Turkey because of their failure in adopting a transformative politics and developing fully autonomous literatures. The future of the two literatures, as was in the past, this thesis argues, will remain intrinsically bound to the political structures and developments and the future of democracy in Turkey.
Supervisor: Mignon, Laurent ; Scalbert-Yucel, Clemence ; Omri, Mohamed-Salah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: political unconscious ; modern Turkish literature ; politics of history ; politics of religion ; modern Kurdish literature ; politics of language ; politics of love