By Meltem Ahiska
From the early Attaturk years, Turkish radio broadcasting used to be visible as a very good desire for sealing the nationwide id of the hot Turkish Republic. because the inaugural broadcast in 1927, the nationwide elite designed radio broadcasting to symbolize the "voice of a nation." the following Meltem Ahiska finds how radio broadcasting truly confirmed Turkey’s uncertainty over its place with regards to Europe. whereas the nationwide elite desired to construct their very own Turkish identification, even as they wanted attractiveness from Europe that Turkey used to be now a Westernized glossy nation. Ahiska indicates how those tensions performed out over the radio within the conflicting depictions and discrepancies among the nationwide elite and "the people," "cosmopolitan" Istanbul and "national" Ankara, and males and females (especially in Radio drama). via radio broadcasting we will see how Occidentalism dictated the Turkish Republic’s early background and formed how smooth Turkey observed itself.
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Additional resources for Occidentalism in Turkey: Questions of Modernity and National Identity in Turkish Radio Broadcasting
The decision of 1926 to begin radio broadcasting in Turkey by establishing radio stations in both Istanbul and Ankara was presented to the public as elevating Turkey to the level of other civilised countries. ll The government's discourse makes evident use of the notions of science and civilisation to justify the foreign-ness of radio technology. However, the memoirs describing how the first radio broadcasts started under the existing conditions prioritise personal relations and intimacy in order to give an account of the foreign-ness of radio for Turkish society.
Progress is not only deified, 60 OCCIDENTALISM IN TURKEY OCCIDENTALISM: HISTORY AND THEORY but its violence is also revealed. The impact of the West, therefore, was more than a mere importation of concepts and techniques for the national elite. It was a threat that they had to acknowledge and adapt to with high speed for the sake of survival. This set the ground for the fast process of modernisation after the foundation of the Turkish Republic. The new national government had to deal with a new temporality of progress (to which Turkey was already late); a new space delimited by the boundaries negotiated and accepted by the Lausanne Treaty of 1924; and the notion of modernity that had to be not only utilised for ordering the new time and space in the form of the nation, but also displayed for the Western gaze.
I have started this chapter by discussing the missing archives and the personalised memoirs as the symptoms of this other truth. These are the non-representable components of a political subjectivity that has been historically Othered by the West. They provide an entry point to problematise what has been written as official history. I have attempted here to give a general theoretical and historical background for interpreting the symptoms. However, the full interpretation of these and other symptoms awaits the new narratives of those who have been silenced in and by history, which I hope will gain a richer meaning in the new theoretical space opened by discussions of Occidentalism.