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Remembering the 1980 Military Coup: An Anthropological Perspective on the Uses of Oral History in Turkey
University of Graz, Austria.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper draws on ethnographic investigation carried out in Istanbul on the painful memories of leftist organizations and families affected by the violence of the Turkish military coup of 1980-1983. It aims at critically addressing dichotomist interpretations of the recent proliferation of memory studies in Turkey, such as those relying on the antinomy between official state history and memories from below, or remembering as practice of resistance and state imposed amnesia. There are inherent risks in these approaches, for example an overshadowing of the plurality of uses of oral history in Turkey and of the actors involved in its production.

The analysis of the uses of the past by former leftist revolutionaries, second generations (i.e. children of revolutionary fighters), as well as those NGOs engaged in bringing out repressed memories, reveals a plurality of logics and targets. Such plurality suggests divergent moral and political frameworks, such as the moral economy of the martyr fighter, in the case of former leftist militants, or the globalized model of Transitional Justice adopted by many NGOs. Through such frameworks, not only silenced memories are brought to light, but individual experiences and collective representations are shaped as well. They should not be analysed independently, because their targets make sense in relational terms within a conflictual, polarized and highly politicized memory field. In the analysis of the uses of oral history, my paper also includes interlocutors from the Turkish intelligentsia (academics, social scientists, artists, journalists). These are public figures endowed with a certain degree of social authority that allows them to address debates on memory. Although based on scientific approaches, their understanding of history and past are based on cultural frames that should be part of the analysis of the memory field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
oral history, turkey, youth
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-161793OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-161793DiVA, id: diva2:1261278
Conference
52nd Annual Meeting of the Oral History Association, Montreal, Canada, October 10-14, 2018
Available from: 2018-11-06 Created: 2018-11-06 Last updated: 2019-04-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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