“Turkish people” vs. “people of Turkey”

So my blog seems to be turning into a blog about Turkish blogger Mustafa Akyol. This is another post of his about a speech a Turkish general recently gave. In the speech, the general referred to “the people of Turkey” instead of the customary “Turkish people”. This seems like a minor semantic difference, but it has major implications, especially in a country as nationalist as Turkey. “Turkish people” implies an ethnicity, whereas “people of Turkey” is a much broader definition that encompasses Turkish citizens of minority ethnicities.

The speech created a controversy because Turkey likes to pretend that there are no ethnic minorities in Turkey (the fun example about there being no Kurds in Turkey, only “mountain Turks” comes to mind). Thus, the general’s speech implied that there was room for ethnic diversity in the modern Turkish state. Shocking!

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Published in: on April 30, 2009 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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