A case study of Gipsy / Roma identity construction in Edirne

Ceyhan, Selin
The aim of this thesis is to argue about a Gypsy/Roma community̕s identity construction from the point of view of classical literature on ethnicity, class and gender dimensions in the symbolic identity construction in the case of Turkey. In this regard, it is important to examine whether this community benefits from citizenship rights. For this purpose, Edirne is chosen as a sample of Turkey because majority of Gypsy/Roma population lives in and this border city into which migrations took place from Bulgaria and Greece. Also for practical reasons of building a communication network, Edirne is selected as a case. A qualitative study, using in-depth interviews with a total of 36 married persons of Gypsy/Roma community referring 18 household in-depth-interviews have been conducted from 2003 winter to summer. Besides, in-depth-interviews with 13 non-Gypsies have been conducted. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and the transcribed texts were used for discourse analysis. During the interviews socio-economic profile, marriage, practices of cultural habits, neighbourhood partnership, political identity, religious rituals and perceiving own identity were inquired. There are three major conclusions of this thesis. The first finding is related to Gypsy/Roma community̕s socio-economic status. Gypsy/Roma community has problems accessing social benefits of education, health and the labour market in addition to having negative living conditions. The arguments of ءءunderclass̕̕ and ءءurban marginalization̕̕ coincide with these results. Not only occupation, but also race, ethnicity and gender are linked together with Gypsy/Roma status as ءinferior̕ citizens. Secondly, Gypsy/Roma community is a closed community in their relations with non-Gypsies with regard to marriage and social network. The third finding is associated with Gypsy/Roma community̕s perceptions of their


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Citation Formats
S. Ceyhan, “A case study of Gipsy / Roma identity construction in Edirne,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2003.