chapter  1
18 Pages

Centre and Periphery: Social Symbolic Morphology

This chapter focuses on transformations related to the image of Mustafa Kemal Atatrk, and their meanings in relation to the transformation of the notion of secularism and the formation of a post-Kemalist and postsecular country. It explores the ways in which symbols related to Atatrk have been made publicly visible again in the context of the Gezi Park protest, and the manner in which they were embraced, not always and necessarily in an antagonistic fashion in relation to religious people and groups. The chapter shows, the most significant change regards the effort, consciously made by a post-Kemalist elite, to make the symbol of Atatrk consistent with the neo-Ottoman democratic narrative, to separate it from a Kemalist interpretation, and to make it representative of a post-Kemalist and postsecular national profile. An Italian anthropologist, Claudia Mattalucci-Yilmaz, showed in a brilliant article how Atatrks immortality is a condition that is neither stable nor definitive.