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Accepted Paper:

The EU process assemblage and senior Turkish journalists  
Erkan Saka (Istanbul Bilgi University)

Paper long abstract:

Reporting the European Union (EU) was at one moment the mother of all political coverage in Turkey even if the actors denied it. In mediating the EU, senior journalists, editors and columnists act not as spokespersons of other elites but become a group of elites that organize, produce, mediate the existing Republican rule whose foundations are directly linked to the founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Their role appears through the formation of a political assemblage, which I call the EU Process Assemblage. Even if a journalist has a pro-EU stance personally, overall journalistic production tends to be anti-EU because of their embeddedness in this assemblage. This particular assemblage formed during a political party, AKP, which did not have traditional Republican credibilities, came to rule. Senior journalists acted against the political authority fiercely, even this meant not good for business. In republican history, journalists are known to oppose government policies but there was never such an ideological stance against the civil authority before. Along with and sometimes independently from military, judiciary and some other bureaucratic sectors, they acted as the guardians of the Kemalist order. Still, my presentation points out the current fast changes in media ownership patterns and its possible ramifications on the political scene in Turkey.

Panel W043
Is after the Crisis before the Crisis? New perspectives on art, media and politics in Turkey
  Session 1