In search of hope amid authoritarianism: The case of recent Turkish-speaking migrants in London Dr Oznur Yardimci, York Management School
York Hope Consortium Symposium Event
Over the last decade, authoritarian regimes in different parts of the world have been mobilizing increasingly incommensurable citizenship regimes based on explicit boundaries demarcating the desired citizens. Since the 2010s, Turkey has been a showcase where citizenship has been reformulated as a privilege granted on the basis of political/ideological loyalty and alliances, rather than rights. This created new forms of exclusion that contradict market-led hierarchies as some ‘profitable’ individuals and groups also faced alienation. Within this context, this talk will explore the growing exodus of metropolitan and politically liberal middle-class individuals from Turkey due to feeling socio-spatially entrapped amid the rising authoritarianism. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with Turkish-speaking migrants who recently settled in London, the talk will examine how these individuals engage in a self-changing journey in search of hope contributing to a deeper insight into new avenues to reconstruct citizenship futures.
Hope matters. Its significance is particularly poignant during the present moment of uncertainty, during which narratives of multiple and overlapping crises abound. Humans and non-humans encounter one another in extraordinary ways. Automation disrupts the economies of labour with which we are familiar. Artificial intelligence challenges recognisable forms of human personhood. Climate change endangers the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Unprecedented prosperity coexists with growing inequality. Religious and ethnic polarisation jeopardises the hard-won gains by movements for social justice in recent decades. Democracies across the world face erosions. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse, the COVID19 pandemic struck, changing our world in ways that few other events in recent memory have. As fear, anxiety, hatred and disappointment loom, it is easy to lose sight of the possibilities offered by hope.
Yet, hope has never been more important.
Under the aegis of the York Hope Consortium, we are convening an online Symposium Series on ‘Hope and Social Change’. Follow our Twitter and YouTube Channel for more!