Before the liberalization of broadcasting in Turkey, the state-owned broadcaster TRT considered Islam a “religion” that could be represented only in a limited, privatized form, rather than a way of life regulated by traditions and practices. However, the transformation of the political scene as well as the liberalization of the media industry in the 1990s have contributed to the reconfiguration of the concept of “religion” and its representation on TV.Read the rest of The rise of “Islamic” broadcasting in Turkey.
Hikmet Kocamaner received his B.A. and M.A. in English literature, and after teaching English language and composition at the college level in Turkey for several years, came to the University of Arizona in 2005 on Fulbright’s Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship fellowship to teach Turkish. He decided to stay in Arizona and pursue a Ph.D degree in Near Eastern Studies (NES) and Anthropology. He is part of the first group of students in the University of Arizona’s dual NES/Anthropology program. He currently studies conservative television broadcasters in Turkey and their role in refashioning the public sphere.
Posts by Hikmet Kocamaner:
Television broadcasting has played a significant role in the creation of a public governed by norms of secular reason in Turkey. The state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) held a monopoly on broadcasting until the liberalization of television and radio broadcasting in the 1990s. . . . TRT represented “religion” only in the form of limited mosque sermon broadcasts on officially designated religious holidays, as well as a 15-30 minute show called “The World of Faith” (“İnanç Dünyası”) played every Thursday evening to mark the beginning of Islam’s day of special worship on Friday. The overall effect of TRT’s demarcating such programming as “religious”—and its dealing with issues only related to “personal faith” in these shows (as emphasized in its title)—was to subtract “religion” from other factors regulating the public lives of Turkish citizens (such as education, politics, high culture, and so on) and to reinforce the notion that Islam is primarily a matter of “faith.”Read the rest of Secular representations of religion on Turkish television.