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Ideological ambivalance of motherhood in the case of "mothers of martyrs" in turkey

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2008
Gedik, Esra
The main objective of this thesis is to understand how mothers who lost their sons during the conflicts in East and Southeast of Turkey articulate martyrdom of their sons with nationalism, religion and motherhood; how these women who lost their sons, as a woman and a mother define and express themselves and their experiences after martyrdom. Before their sons are martyrized, these women were ordinary housewives, with the death of their sons, they get a new identity: being a mother of a martyr. In this thesis, it is examined that what being a mother of a martyr means for these women. Moreover, this study attempts to examine certain perceptions and assumptions of these women about nationalism, the state, religion, war and peace after martyrdom. For this aim, this study is based on interviews with mothers who do not realize that they virtually live in a war, on motherhood, war, politics, and peace. Therefore, this research is the study to grasp how discourses of nationalism and religion shape this new identity: being a mother of a martyr. While these women were ordinary housewives before martyrdom, after their sons’ death, their narratives as mothers of martyrs are cultivated by discourses of nationalism and religion. Consequently, is it possible for these mothers to develop an anti-war discourse as happened for examples in the world?