The Socialist BirGun Daily Newspaper and the Dersim Debate

By Burak Gümüş.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In contemporary Turkey, the oppositional socialist BirGun daily newspaper attracts attention with its consequent disagreement with the ruling mildly-Islamist Justice and Development Party (JDP); even if the harshly criticized Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sometimes seems to act in a congenial way through some (anti-nationalist) reforms and symbolic gestures like his historical "apology" for the military operations during the local Dersim uprising in the Ataturk era (Tunceli Incidents, 1937-1938). This region is inhabited by Zaza-speaking and Kurdish Alevis, who are critical of the JDP because of sectarian reasons. This study analyzes BirGun's critical and ambivalent reporting of the JDP government as well as of the Kemalist epoch, when it comes to the current Dersim debate on Erdogan's "apology" in November 2011.

Keywords: Dersim, Apology, Alevis, Kurds, Turkey, BirGun, JDP, AKP, AK Party

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 471.614KB).

Assoc. Prof. Burak Gümüş

Assistant Professor Doctor, Subdivision for Political and Social Sciences, Department for Public Administration, Faculty for Economics and Administrative Sciences, Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey

My research and writing is mostly about (Turkish) Alevis in Germany and in Turkey. I analyze mass media and make interviews with people affected by sectarian tensions about othering. Apart from that, as a Germany-born Turkish political scientist and sociologist, I am interested in German-Turkish relations, Turkish immigrants in Germany and transnational migrants in Istanbul. Moreover, I am also interested in political flash mobs ("smart mobs") because of ICT-based revolts in the Middle East and in some countries in Eastern Europe.