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Mavi Marmara on the News: Convergence and Divergence in Religious Conservative Newspapers in Turkey

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This article presents a discursive analysis of religious conservative daily newspapers’ response to Israeli commandos’ attack on a flotilla of aid ships that were attempting to break an embargo on traffic to Gaza on 31 May 2010. The event not only caused a serious rupture in Israeli-Turkish relations but also resulted in the rise of (already present) anti-Israeli sentiment in the conservative religious sectors of society. Conservative religious media, more specifically the Islamic newspapers, led the anti-Israeli campaign within this process. The authors emphasize that news does not simply represent reality, but, as an active process, works on it. The institutional dependence on regular and reliable institutional sources and the ideological character of language are two major dynamics of this process. The journalistic routine imposes the statements of the institutional sources, or the voice of the powerful, as the only reliable and viable definition of events. The language used in the news enhances this partiality through use of stereotypical, bitter and discriminatory expressions. This article discusses the way news texts influence reality by focusing on the primary and secondary definers in the news, newspapers’ oscillation between humanitarian and Islamic concerns, and between anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic positions.

Affiliations: 1: a) Ankara University, Turkey, Email: tezcandurna@gmail.com ; 2: b) Akdeniz University, Turkey, Email: ozcetin@akdeniz.edu.tr

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