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An analysis of the temporary protection regulation from an agambenian perspective: Syrians in Turkey as homines sacri.

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2019
Ütnü, Safiye Merve
This thesis aims to analyze the Temporary Protection Regulation’s legal and practical implications in light of the theory of Giorgio Agamben. Agamben investigates the relationship between bare life and sovereign power within a biopolitical perspective, where life occupies the center of politics as Foucault suggested. Agamben defines the ancient Roman figure homo sacer as the main subject of biopolitics, considering his exclusion from legal structures and exposure to threat of death. To Agamben, refugee has been the main paradigm to the figure of homo sacer, in parallel to Arendt’s distinction between man and citizen within the context of human rights. Similarly, this study seeks answer to the question: “How can Syrians in Turkey be considered as homines sacri?” Following the mass influx of Syrians to Turkish borders, the Temporary Protection Regulation was introduced in 2014, granting Syrians a temporary protection status which leads to a deprivation of basic human rights. The thesis will approach the case of Turkey as a single descriptive case study by utilizing the reports published by non-governmental organizations which examine the condition of Syrians in Turkey. For this purpose, the figure of homo sacer will be conceptualized into three dimensions: (i) exclusion through a state of exception, (ii) deprivation of basic human rights, and (iii) exposition to death. Consequently, the study will present the ways in which Syrians under temporary protection represent the figure of homo sacer within a biopolitical context.