The Politics of Text and Context: Kurdish Films in Turkey in a Period of Political Transformation

Ayca Ciftci Ozturk

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This research concentrates on Kurdish films in Turkey with a particular focus on understanding the political dynamics of the nation in the realm of cinema, and investigates the relationships between ‘cinema and the nation’, ‘film and politics’, and more specifically ‘socio-political conflicts and film’, by exploring the issues and questions regarding these fields generated by the recent rise of Kurdish films and the birth of the concept of Kurdish cinema in Turkey during a period of political transformation. While analysing the prominent political meanings in Kurdish films, as well as their public reception, my aim is to interrogate the way in which Kurdish films incorporate with the political struggle over the future direction of Kurdish conflict in Turkey, the way their meanings are affected by this struggle, and finally, how they might have an impact on this struggle. How do films that directly address contemporary social tensions and political cleavages in a certain society enter into dialogue with those areas of socio-political conflict in their immediate context? This is one of the key questions I engage with in this thesis. In tackling these issues, I develop a contextual film analysis approach in my examination of the interpenetration of film and politics in the case of Kurdish films in Turkey, and I designate three main axes for this contextual analysis. The first axis concerns the socio-political operation of Kurdish cinema as a concept, the second develops a context-specific political analysis of individual Kurdish films, and the third concentrates on the social circulation and reception of these Kurdish films. And all of these axes are developed through close references to the period of political transformation in Turkey in the 2000s.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Hill, John, Supervisor
Award date1 Sept 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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