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Accepted Paper:

The absence of the investigated and the presence of the spectacular state on commercial Turkish television  
Britta Ohm (University of Heidelberg)

Paper long abstract:

The tropes of visibility and invisibility have over the past years often been employed with regard to Islam and the public sphere in Turkey (Göle 2002; Kandiyoti/Saktanber 2002). The here proposed paper will transfer these tropes towards the question of the presence and the absence of the state in commercial tele-visualisations and link them to legal practises of the AKP-government. It thereby assumes a strategic gap between imagery/form and content rather than the usually presumed congruence: the spectacular representation especially of news that suggest a society in permanent motion (Debord 1967) is predicated on the actual absence of the state in terms of ist being journalistically intestigated and thus on its lacking answerability to the media. Exploring the theoretical dimensions and visual manifestations of this gap, the paper will focus on the reporting of the recent Ergenekon/anti-military investigations that are supported by the AKP-government and that have opened new options of journalistic research and set them in context with the unaltered legal practise of penalising, rather than openly censoring, broadcasts that are qualified as ‚problematic’ by government institutions.

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