Operations Of Law And Sovereignty From Below: Youth, Violence And Disorder In Urban Turkey
Drawing on a fieldwork conducted in Narova, a working class Alevi neighborhood in Istanbul, Turkey and in Specially Authorized Assize Courts, specialized in "crimes against the state," this dissertation analyzes a complex relationship among law, violence and sovereignty. Like other Alevi populations in Turkey in general, the residents of Narova are known for their active participation in socialist movements. In addition to discussing current militarized spatial control and its effects in Narova, this dissertation also illustrates social and historical processes and relations that contributed to the Alevi community's affiliation and identification with leftist politics in Turkey, and sheds light onto the tradition of rule and violence in Turkey. Approaching the state as an impossible promise of monopoly over violence and law and as a fantasy product (re)productive of relations of production, I focus on Narova residents encounters with those who gained the authority to act on behalf of the state. I discuss the ways in which manifestations of sovereignty in Narova's streets and in the courtrooms produce a relationship of mimetic rivalry between the police forces and Narova youth and illustrate the ways in which this relationship contributes to the assimilation of the police as the external object within the revolutionary self. I also demonstrate that the revelation of the "men" in the state through repressive practices lead to the state's simultaneous demystification and mystification. I argue that the effect of mystification inherent to the fantasy of the state can thus be traced back not only to aspects of the representative system, such as the formal equality of citizens or welfare, but to its violent side as well.
youth; violence; Turkey; Istanbul; Alevi; terror; sovereignty; law; urban poor; crime; urban studies; resistance
Sangren, Paul Steven
Santiago-Irizarry, Vilma; Feldman, Shelley; Fiskesjo, N Magnus G
Ph. D., Anthropology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis