chapter  2
21 Pages

The representation of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in the mainstream Turkish media

ByDERYA ERDEM

The Kurdish question maintains its centrality in Turkish politics and a political resolution to the conflict is eagerly awaited. The mainstream media has a central role to play in facilitating the development of a political solution. This is because the way it represents the Kurds and the Kurdish question influences the popular perception of the Kurdish question in Turkey, and has a strong bearing upon the popular framing of the appropriate measures needed to be taken as responses to the political and cultural demands that the Kurds and their political representatives raise. The Turkish nationalist discourse has a deep rooted history and tradition within the mainstream media in Turkey, and, as the analysis of the content of the mainstream media demonstrates, the representation of the Kurds and the Kurdish political demands to the wider Turkish society reproduces and exalts the prevalent Turkish nationalist themes, symbols, dominant prejudices and stereotypes in Turkey (Bora 2003: 18-19). In fact, during the past three decades, the mainstream media has been playing a central role in the circulation and dissemination of the Turkish nationalist discourse and its representation of the Kurdish question. In fulfilling this role, it has been reproducing and justifying the exclusionary practices fostered by Turkish nationalism, which constitutes a major barrier for accommodating Kurdish democratic demands in Turkey and finding a political solution to the ongoing conflict.1