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Hegemony versus homour: an analysis of Turkish polarized politics through press portrayals 1947-1960

Mumcu, Özge
Humor and laughter represent a leaping barrier in the freedom of speech since humour and laughter consist of the transgression of a rule, while censorship places the limits of what can and cannot be said and consequently what can be transgressed or silenced. Political satire represents a counter-hegemonic project, operating as a war of position; it degrades the official discourse by revealing the weakness of regime. As political satire represents a counter-hegemonic project and a war of opposition, the authoritarian tendency is to approach political satire while referring it as inconvenient to the given political order. In this stage, freedom of expression and freedom of speech issues gain importance since the satire flourishes first, and laws try to prevent them from being effective. As each sign refracts reality in different settings, each sign has a struggle over another sign. The authoritarian type of political power leads the caricature to flourish as a tool for freedom of expression. In different phases of Turkish political life whenever a political power turns into to gain an authoritarian character, caricature and use of political satire as a tool for freedom of expression become prominent in press and media. The period of 1947 and 1960, a transitional phase from single-party rule to multi-party politics was chosen as it represents a fracture in Turkish political history in a constant swing from authoritative tendencies to emancipating tendencies in where the use of political satire gains significance.