An Occidentalist Fantasy: Turkish Radio and National Identity

Ahiska, Saziye Meltem. 2000. An Occidentalist Fantasy: Turkish Radio and National Identity. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (An Occidentalist Fantasy: Turkish Radio and National Identity)
SOC_thesis_AhiskaS_2000.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (23MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This thesis analyses broadcasting as an area that conveys the complex dynamics of boundary management in the constitution of Turkish national identity. The research dwells on the conceptions, sites of transmission, strategies and programmes of Turkish Radio from its inauguration in 1927 until the end of the 1940s, and the field of force lines it was positioned in, particularly in relation to the BBC Turkish Section during the same period.
The main hypothesis in the thesis is that the historical divide between “the West” and “the East” over-determined the way tensions in Turkish radio broadcasting – between “the elite” and “the people”, and between men and women – were conceived and handled. Every attempt to define, build and demarcate Turkish national identity was shaped with reference to an imagined Western-ness and for the Western gaze, which is called Occidentalis in this thesis. Turkish Radio was regarded as the “voice of the nation” and was imagined to be heard simultaneously by Others, the West and the people. However, the thesis also attends to the reality of the Occidentalist fantasy. Through a comparative analysis of the BBC Turkish Section Radio and Turkish Radio, the thesis shows how fantasies of the Other in both cases were shaped in relation to each other, in a dialogic relationship.
Radio technology with its processes of embodiment and disembodiment, and “mass address” provide the means to produce and sustain and Occidentalist fantasy that both denied and re-defined divisions in the national realm in a dialogic link with the West. Thus, the thesis raises a range of theoretical and practical questions concerning the discursive, technical and psychoanalytical aspects of national identity and “communication” through radio broadcasting.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Turkish Radio, National Identity, Occidentalist fantasy, radio broadcasting, Turkish national identity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:




Item ID:


Date Deposited:

20 May 2020 11:28

Last Modified:

20 May 2020 13:18


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)