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dc.contributor.advisorNewhall, Amyen
dc.contributor.advisorBetteridge, Anneen
dc.contributor.authorWulfsberg, Joanna Christine
dc.creatorWulfsberg, Joanna Christineen
dc.date.accessioned2015-06-03T18:57:43Zen
dc.date.available2015-06-03T18:57:43Zen
dc.date.issued2015en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/556223en
dc.description.abstractTurkey's most controversial religious figure is the Muslim cleric and author Fethullah Gülen, whose followers have established around one thousand schools in 135 countries. Since 2003, the Gülen-affiliated educational non-profit TÜRKÇEDER has organized the International Turkish Olympiad, a competition for children enrolled in the Gülen schools. The showpiece of this event is its song contest, in which students perform well-known Turkish songs before live audiences of thousands in cities all over Turkey and reach millions more via television broadcasts and the Internet. While the contest resembles American Idol in its focus on individual singers and Eurovision in its nationalistic overtones, the fact that the singers are performing songs associated with a nationality not their own raises intriguing questions about the intended message of the competition as well as about its publics. To answer these questions, I analyzed YouTube videos of the competition and examined YouTube comments, popular websites, and newspaper opinion columns. I conclude that the performers themselves are meant to feel an affinity with Turkish culture and values, while Turkish audiences receive a demonstration that Gülen's brand of Islam is compatible with Turkish nationalism. Moreover, the competition reaches a multiplicity of publics both within and beyond Turkey. While some of these can be characterized as essentially oppositional counterpublics, I find that, in the case of the Turkish Olympiad, the dichotomy between rational public and emotional or irrational counterpublic established collectively by such theorists of publics as Jürgen Habermas and Michael Warner begins to break down.
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.subjectGülen movementen
dc.subjectpublicsen
dc.subjectsong competitionsen
dc.subjectTurkeyen
dc.subjectTurkish schoolsen
dc.subjectMiddle Eastern & North African Studiesen
dc.subjectcounterpublicsen
dc.titleSinging Turkish, Performing Turkishness: Message and Audience in the Song Competition of the International Turkish Olympiaden_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
dc.contributor.committeememberNewhall, Amyen
dc.contributor.committeememberBetteridge, Anneen
dc.contributor.committeememberSturman, Janeten
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineMiddle Eastern & North African Studiesen
thesis.degree.nameM.A.en
refterms.dateFOA2018-09-08T12:25:16Z
html.description.abstractTurkey's most controversial religious figure is the Muslim cleric and author Fethullah Gülen, whose followers have established around one thousand schools in 135 countries. Since 2003, the Gülen-affiliated educational non-profit TÜRKÇEDER has organized the International Turkish Olympiad, a competition for children enrolled in the Gülen schools. The showpiece of this event is its song contest, in which students perform well-known Turkish songs before live audiences of thousands in cities all over Turkey and reach millions more via television broadcasts and the Internet. While the contest resembles American Idol in its focus on individual singers and Eurovision in its nationalistic overtones, the fact that the singers are performing songs associated with a nationality not their own raises intriguing questions about the intended message of the competition as well as about its publics. To answer these questions, I analyzed YouTube videos of the competition and examined YouTube comments, popular websites, and newspaper opinion columns. I conclude that the performers themselves are meant to feel an affinity with Turkish culture and values, while Turkish audiences receive a demonstration that Gülen's brand of Islam is compatible with Turkish nationalism. Moreover, the competition reaches a multiplicity of publics both within and beyond Turkey. While some of these can be characterized as essentially oppositional counterpublics, I find that, in the case of the Turkish Olympiad, the dichotomy between rational public and emotional or irrational counterpublic established collectively by such theorists of publics as Jürgen Habermas and Michael Warner begins to break down.


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