ANALYSING NATIONALISM(S) IN TURKEY THROUGH SCULPTURE: AN ETHNO-SYMBOLIST APPROACH

Abstract

Author(s): G. P?nar ERKEM GLBOY**

Sculptures at public spaces represent more than art; they constitute the symbols of nationalism of the particular state. They visualize myths that help to strengthen national feelings; scenes from wars or scenes that recall the emotional bounds that form the nation. Looking from the ethno-symbolic framework, sculptures help to form common myths, recall common historical memories and become a part of the public culture, renewing national emotions in a daily basis of public life. This paper focuses on the role of sculptures in the formation of Turkish nationalism, arguing that, sculptures can be battleground for competing perspectives of nationalism. Particularly when the common ground for different societal segments is shaken, each segment has a different interpretation for the common myths and memories. Then, sculptures can have positive or negative meanings depending on the point of view. Turkey is an illustrative case, there are three different perspectives to nationalism: secular, Islamist, and minority views. This paper discusses the role of sculpture as representation of common myths, forming and contesting nationalism referring to these segments

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