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Enmeshing the mundane and the political: Twitter, LGBTI+ outing and macro-political polarization in Turkey

Authors: Ozge Ozduzen &Umut Korkut

Affiliation: Brunel University, London, Glasgow Caledonian University

Organization/Publisher: Routledge

Date/Place: May 5, 2020/ UK

Type of Literature: Journal Article

Number of Pages: 20


Keywords:  Online Polarization, Twitter, Digital mundane, Ontological Insecurity, Anti-gender, Online Identity


This article explores the impact of the sociopolitical divide in digital media of Turkey on national politics. Since the rise of the AK-Party and strengthening of its feet in Ankara by popular electoral support, it has faced severe criticism from secular opposition parties. The study examines the child custody dispute of Mustafa Ceceli and Sinem Gedik, where the former accused the latter of having a LGBTI+ affair with a female Turkish Pop star Intizar. The case was discussed widely on social media including the opinions and responses of political leadership. As the title “Enmeshing the mundane” reflects the daily trends of social media (specifically twitter) in Turkey, the article uses “mundane” to reciprocate “everyday” or “mainstream” as used by traditional sociologists like Cynthia Enloe, Mark Whitehead, and Susan E. Clarke. According to the authors, this “digital mundane” of debate and arguing in Turkey causes polarization on a national level. Both government and opposition have their own troll brigades, which results in further divide rather than complementing the plurality. According to this study, the digital polarization has a direct impact on the macro-political divide base on social issues like LGBTI+ and feminism. It also used a term “ontological security,” which means the comfort zone of social media activists consisting of like-minded ideological groups. Ontological security is sabotaged when these politically motivated spheres overlap each other. The article concludes that the impact is bilateral and the hostile debates on social media take inspiration from the larger political divide happening at the national level. 

By: Muhammad Taimoor Bin Tanveer, CIGA Research Associate



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