There is no permission to love in our Urfa: media, youth identities and social change in Southeast Turkey

2017-01-20T11:31:07Z (GMT) by Ece Algan
Today media are central to young people’s experience of modernity and identities everywhere in the world – not only those who are educated and live in the centers, but also those with little or no education who live in rural areas, ghettos, and the periphery. My research in Southeast Turkey illustrates how integral media are to the everyday lives of young people in Şanlıurfa. This research, however, does not necessarily suggest that the introduction of a new medium or programming content is drastically transforming their lives. Rather, as I show in this article, the media activities of the youth in Şanlıurfa are linked to much wider social change in Turkey, which we must understand in order to see the role media play in their lives, and their perceptions and experience of change. On the one hand, national, transnational and global media increase intergenerational tensions by pointing out the disparities that exist between the young people’s realities in Southeast Turkey and those of other young people of the same generation living in the west of the country. On the other hand, local media and new communication technologies give them an opportunity to articulate youth identities shaped by and negotiated through both globally-induced socio-economic changes, as well as centuries-old patriarchal and tribal structures.