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By Hande Sözer

In coping with Invisibility, Hande Sözer examines complex invisibilities of Alevi Bulgarian Turks, a double-minority which faces structural discrimination in Bulgaria and Turkey. whereas the literature portrays minorities’ visibility as a demand for his or her empowerment or a resource in their surveillance, the e-book argues that for such minorities what issues is their keep an eye on over their very own visibility. To make this aspect, it specializes in the concept that protecting dissimulation, a technique of self-imposed invisibility. It discusses situations indicating Alevi Bulgarian Turks’ concepts of facing traditionally altering majorities of their greater societies and argues that dissimulation really reinforces the intergroup differences for the minority’s participants. the knowledge for the publication was once accrued in the course of 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Bulgaria and Turkey.

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Additional resources for Managing Invisibility: Dissimulation and Identity Maintenance among Alevi Bulgarian Turks

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In this regard, the silence of Alevis helps Sunnis to define Sunni identity as the primary identity for Bulgarian Turks. Field Sites To examine the complicated invisibilities of Alevi Bulgarian Turks, I decided to study Bulgarian Turks in both sides of the Bulgarian-Turkish border as they form a distinct minority community in Bulgaria and a distinct migrant community in Turkey. In both sides of the border, I examined at least two major areas of concentration of Bulgarian Turks with varying configurations of Alevi and Sunni Bulgarian Turks in relation to majority groups, such as ethnic Bulgarians in Bulgaria and local Turks in Turkey.

Following my fieldwork in Bulgaria I contacted much more easily Alevi migrants in Turkish Thrace and İstanbul, where they do not hide their Alevi identity. In the rest of this section, I elaborate on issues such as access, rapport, and my subject position as well as addressing sensitive issues during interviews. Access Hinting Alevis’ Visibilities and Invisibilities My fieldwork evolved as I faced problems accessing some Alevi groups and trying to identify, diagnose and find solutions for these problems.

I conducted participant observation in these protests in Kardjali. I also conducted participant observation in village cemeteries, where the interaction between communities became concrete and spatialized and where intergroup mixings or segregations became sealed. For instance, in Razgrad, a Bulgarian-Sunni-Alevi mixed village had three physically segregated neigh­ borhoods with three separate cemeteries, while another Sunni-Alevi-Roma village had physically segregated neighborhoods, yet only one cemetery that was divided into an Alevi side and a Sunni side.

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