By Meltem Ahiska

From the early Attaturk years, Turkish radio broadcasting was once obvious as a very good desire for sealing the nationwide identification of the hot Turkish Republic. because the inaugural broadcast in 1927, the nationwide elite designed radio broadcasting to symbolize the "voice of a nation." the following Meltem Ahiska unearths how radio broadcasting really confirmed Turkey’s uncertainty over its place on the subject of Europe. whereas the nationwide elite desired to construct their very own Turkish identification, while they wanted attractiveness from Europe that Turkey used to be now a Westernized sleek kingdom. Ahiska exhibits how those tensions performed out over the radio within the conflicting depictions and discrepancies among the nationwide elite and "the people," "cosmopolitan" Istanbul and "national" Ankara, and males and females (especially in Radio drama). via radio broadcasting we will see how Occidentalism dictated the Turkish Republic’s early heritage and formed how sleek Turkey observed itself.

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Additional resources for Occidentalism in Turkey: Questions of Modernity and National Identity in Turkish Radio Broadcasting

Sample text

If there was any hegemony of the so-called Turkish nation, it did not lie in the consent given to the official ideology, but in the opportunities of agency and power in the newly opened space of maneuver for being both modern and national - namely, Occidentalism. I would like to conclude this section by asserting that the notion of full modernisation could only be incorporated at the level of fantasy and of the performance that sustained it. ' The body of the people was denied through symbolism, while their spirit was retained in fantasy.

However, Turkish Radio also had its own unique features despite similarities with both liberal and totalitarian cases. One of the most peculiar characteristics of Turkish Radio had been its conception of the audience. Different from all the above examples, Turkish Radio did not attempt to know the demands and reactions of the audience; it did not even venture to incorporate audience research, even as a token, into its programming. The audience remained always an assumed and imagined entity. I will discuss this prominent feature of Turkish Radio, which I connect with Occidentalism, in more detail in the following pages.

The radio. set described in this passage looks like a fetish. The narrative, which engages more with the appearance of that big black box than with the creaky sounds that came out of it, reveals the awe that technology created. The perception of radio as a modern object accompanied and even guided the perception of sounds. Radio was a foreign and modern object that represented other worlds in the context of the self-conscious and rapid process of modernisation as Westernisation in the 1920s. While the amateur experiments of radio broadcasting continued, the government decided to establish central radio broadcasting in 1926.

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