Making the secular through the body: tattooing the Father Turk

Download
2011
Erim, Irmak Bilun
This thesis examines the recent phenomenon of Atatürk’s tattoos through a twofold theoretical framework of body politics and secularism. Firstly, it examines the growing interest on the body in social sciences, which has focused on the body as a site of both docility and subversivity. Additionally, the body has been rediscovered as a fetish object through which selfhood and subjectivity are continually reconstructed and contested. These developments were simultaneously conditioned by and manifested themselves in an understanding of ‘the body as a project’. Secondly, the study explores Atatürk’s continued legacy in Turkish politics and for the nation-people. 73 years after his death, Atatürk still remains the utmost personification of the secular Turkish nation state. An effort is made to demonstrate how ‘the secular’, representing the normative nation-identity, and ‘the religious’, representing its Other, have been made in Turkish history. In light of these theories, Atatürk tattoo almost seems like an oxymoron: ‘tattoo’ carrying controversial and rebellious, and ‘Atatürk’ statist and conformist undertones. The main ambition of this thesis is to explore this contradiction through an analysis of whether the Atatürk tattoo is a spontaneous (body) politics on the side of ‘the people’ or whether it is a symptom of Kemalism’s current position in society and politics. Finally, to better understand the subject, field research has been conducted with tattoo artists and people with the Atatürk tattoo, in 3 cities, through the summer and fall of 2010.

Suggestions

The national pedagogy of the early republican era in Turkey
Tütüncü, Fatma; Erdoğan, Necmi; Department of Political Science and Public Administration (2007)
This dissertation examines the relationship between body, subjectivity and modernity in the making of modern Turkey. It explores how the “disenchanted” world of the people was “re-enchanted” by the modern, Eurocentric, nationalist and republican program of the republican elite. I call this program as the “politico-moral pedagogy” and argue that it arrives at its peak in the 1930s, when the republican regime was consolidated enough to colonize the bodies and the intimacies of people. More particularly, this ...
A semperian approach to artificial light as a building material
Kocaoğlu, Nihan; Savaş Sargın, Ayşen; Department of Architecture (2011)
The aim of this study is to understand the purpose, employment and place of specific materials in general, and “light” in particular, in architectural production. This thesis is a critical reconsideration of light as a building material, encompassing all the metaphorical connotations that the term suggests: light versus heavy; “art form” versus “core form”; “figuration” versus “tectonic”; ornamentation versus construction; craft production versus structural logic and abstraction versus materiality. All thes...
Art(s) of becoming: performative encounters in contemporary political art
Akkın, İbrahim Okan; Parkan, Barış; Department of Philosophy (2017)
This thesis analyses Deleuze & Guattari’s notion of becoming through certain performative encounters in contemporary political art, and re-conceptualizes them as “art(s) of becoming”. Art(s) of becoming are actualizations of a non-representational –minoritarian– mode of becoming and creation as well as the political actions of fleeing quanta. The theoretical aim of the study is, on the one hand, to explain how Platonic Idealism is overturned by Deleuze’s reading of Nietzsche and Leibniz, and on the other ha...
Europe and Muslim immigrants at the ıntersection of secularism, religion and racism
Bezirgan, Bengi; Yeğenoğlu, Meyda; Department of Sociology (2010)
This study intends to discuss the problematical relation between Europe and Muslim immigrants in the light of the issues of secularism, religion and racism. Over the three decades, there has been a large body of literature in both theoretical and empirical fields about the peculiar European identity, the implications of secularism for European society and its distance from religion particularly in public sphere. Besides, 1980 onwards, the focus of the theories of racism shifted from biological explanations ...
THE TURKISH POSTMODERN: COMPLEXITY IN HASAN ALI TOPTAS'S NOVELS
Ertuğrul, Kürşad (2019-01-01)
This study explores the characteristics of postmodern complexity as a social and aesthetic condition in Turkish fiction. The reflections of this condition are intellectually registered in the novels of Turkish author Hasan Ali Toptas. His selected works are taken as representative of the postmodern avant-garde. Lyotard's reflections on the postmodern condition and the avant-garde are deployed in this analysis - in an extensive interpretation of Lyotard's analytical work, it is suggested that the postmodern ...
Citation Formats
I. B. Erim, “Making the secular through the body: tattooing the Father Turk,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.