Ethnography of peacemaking in Turkey: A View from Dersim

12/12/2019 @ 19:00 – 21:30
Celetná 13
110 00 Staré Město, Česko
místnost 1.08

Hande Sarikuzu from Binghamton University will talk about her research conducted in Dersim region during the failed peace process between Turkish state and Kurdish guerrilla fighters.

In 2013, a small commission in the Turkish parliament was given the historic task of “finding a new language of peace” that could help reconcile Kurdish and Turkish citizens after decades of violence. In time, Turkey’s peace and reconciliation process developed as an accumulation of populist gestures but failed to culminate in a clear set of policies; it merited the use of adjectives such as ‘so-called,’ ‘failing,’ or ‘make-believe’ long before it came to a definitive end in 2015. In this talk, Hande Sarikuzu will reflect on how ethnographic research can capture the contradictory, emergent, and ambivalent politics of “finding a new language of peace” from below. Hande Sarikuzu investigated cultural expressions of claiming justice for state-sponsored massacres in Dersim. She will demonstrate how, given its radically ambiguous place in relation to Kurdish ethnonationalism and Turkish nation-state formation, this small region inhabited by Kurdish Alevis was central to understanding the aporias of peacemaking and post-conflict governance in Turkey.

Hande Sarikuzu is a social anthropologist who works on the politics of transitional justice in Turkey and the Middle East. After receiving her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Sociology from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, she pursued her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Binghamton University. Hande Sarikuzu is currently a fellow at Charles University’s Center for the Transdisciplinary Research of Violence, Trauma and Justice (VITRI).

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