Inventing Sacred spaces: Islamic symbolism in Turkish Visual Politics. Paper accepted for 10th Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies: Middle Eastern Connectivities. Odense, Denmark

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


This paper draws attention to the increasing prominence of religious symbolism in Turkish visual politics, focusing state sponsored expositions, cultural events and public celebrations, orchestrated by the Turkish AKP Government and municipalities. The appropriation of Islamic and neo-Ottoman symbols in such public events appears to have become an important strategy for forwarding religious values, while avoiding square imposition of religious norms in official political or legal discourse, hence strategically by-passing Turkish secular provisions. The paper also explores such appropriations of religious symbolism in public space in terms of a (re)drawing of the boundaries for what is considered as acceptable from an Islamic institutional perspective. In short, this paper explores recent examples of public, religio-cultural and populist orchestrations of Islamic symbolism as aspects of the current struggle about the very identity of Turkish nationalism.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
EventThe Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies Conference: Formations of Middle Eastern Subjectivities - Odense, Denmark
Duration: 2016 Sep 222016 Sep 24
Conference number: 10


ConferenceThe Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies Conference
Internet address