Aynur Kösea & Mustafa Yılmaza: Flagging Turkishness: the reproduction of banal nationalism in the Turkish press

This article explores banal nationalist themes and symbols in the Turkish media on the basis of the study by Michael Billig titled “Banal Nationalism”. In this study, we used content analysis method to reveal how the key concepts that encompass the idea of the nationhood have been propagated within presentations of the daily news. The research sampling consisted of 36 daily newspapers of the mainstream Turkish media dated 3th February 2010. Our analysis revealed that even in an ordinary day when nationalist themes or developments were not intensely situated in the newspapers, nationhood was reproduced via both nationalist language forms and classifications of “us” and “them”, praise of the nation/country, and the emphasis on common interest or common history. This further highlights the constant transformation of nationalism, underlining its allusions and evocations not as a forgotten ideology but as something that is being reproduced in an unnoticed way every day and survives as a principal determinant of daily life activities. In addition, although it is not possible to see overt dichotomies or expressions of feeling within each part of the news or in every column, we found that the nation was implied or the national sentiments were presented.

 

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