9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS02 Dynamics and Complexity of Minority Statuses in Plural Societies

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Immigration, Unity and Diversity Building II, C3.02

The Construction of the Modern Political Image through Tradition and its Presentation in the Media: The Modern Alevi Movement and Pir Sultan Abdal

It is well known that Turkey has a pluralistic ethnic and religious structure. However, the dominant ethnic and religious trend does not want to recognize diversity. Even though there is not any kind of discrimination according to the legal system, there is very widespread discrimination in practice.
In this presentation we will analyze how one of the most important figures of Alevi literature and Turkish folk literature, Pir Sultan Abdal, has been turned into a political image and how his discourse has been politicized. We will concentrate on how the political image of Pir Sultan Abdal is presented in the media by the Alevi movement and how the Alevi movement has tried to use Pir Sultan Abdal to gain approval in the public sphere through the media.
It is not easy to analyze the whole history of the modern Alevi movement, especially when we consider that it covers more than twenty years. In this frame we will analyze in particular two important cases that have made the movement more visible and gained attention. These two cases have been defined as promotion packets by the current government in 2007 and 2008. In other words we will study how Pir Sultan Abdal as a well known figure has been manipulated through the media during the these cases.