COMD Seminar: “Muslim Turks vs. “the West”: How Turkish Series Mediate the Past and Appeal to Global South Audiences”, Assoc. Professor Bilge Yesil, 5:30PM December 16 (EN)

“Muslim Turks vs. The West”

The Department of Communication and Design is pleased to invite Bilkent students, faculty and friends to a COMD TALK session with Assoc. Professor Bilge Yesil on Thursday, 16th:

Muslim Turks vs. “the West”: How Turkish Series Mediate the Past and Appeal to Global South Audiences

Historical series, such as Dirilis: Ertugrul, Kurulus: Osman and Payitaht: Abdulhamid attained unprecedented levels of popularity among international audiences, especially Muslims in/from the Global South. In response, the Erdogan government has increased its investment in this genre for purposes of political communication, that is, to promote Turkey as a great power and a benevolent guardian of Muslims. Produced by the state broadcaster TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) and/or commercial companies with personal and political economic ties to the AKP, these series espouse a pro-Muslim Turkish framework in line with the party’s cultural politics. In this presentation, I discuss the points of convergence between these dramas, their construction of a mythologized Muslim Turkish past and the Erdogan government’s geopolitical economic aspirations. Based on textual analysis and interviews with foreign audiences, I address the following questions: How do these dramas invite Muslim audiences to re-think their past and present relationships with Turkey and “the West”? Why do they advance binary oppositions between “the West” and Muslims, injustice and justice, oppression and benevolence? How are Muslim audiences’ responses to these dramas shaped by the context of their countries’ colonial histories, the War on Terror and Islamophobia?

Bilge Yesil is an Associate Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island and Doctoral Faculty of Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of Video Surveillance: Power and Privacy in Everyday Life (2009) and Media in New Turkey: The Origins of an Authoritarian Neoliberal State (2016). Yesil is currently completing Talking back to the West: How Turkey Deploys Muslim Identity Politics to Challenge the International Order and Silence Its Critics.

Meeting Room 148 is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Time: Dec 16, 2021 05:30 PM Istanbul

***This is an online event. To obtain Zoom link and password, please contact to the department.