Appearing to disappear: ordering visibility in a Turkish border spectacle

İkizoğlu Erensü, Aslı (2023) Appearing to disappear: ordering visibility in a Turkish border spectacle. Media, Culture and Society . ISSN 0163-4437 (Print) 1460-3675 (Online) Published Online First

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This paper seeks to question whether and how instrumentalization of refugees by states impacts their media representations, based on the example of a border spectacle that took place in March 2020, when Turkey unilaterally opened its borders to the West, causing hundreds to flock to the land border with Greece and to the coasts of the Aegean Sea. In many ways, this ended up as a failed border spectacle, especially for international publics: Turkey appeared neither as a strong state nor as a benefactor of asylum-seekers. Yet, the paper claims, the spectacle nonetheless led to an ordering of the visibility of asylum-seekers that cannot be captured on the victim-threat spectrum across which they are usually represented. Examining Turkish mainstream TV evening news as well as state agencies’ Twitter accounts, the paper traces how Greece was made hypervisible through the use of three frames (humanitarian, legalistic and moralistic) and asylum-seekers were reduced to extras (figurants) in the process. Such an ordering of visibility facilitated the re-moralization of instrumentalization of refugees and may have accordingly shaped the response-ability of citizens. The figure of the extra enables us to link refugee visibilities to splintering moral geographies of asylum.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: border spectacle; moral geography; refugee visibility; refugees; Turkey
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Aslı İkizoğlu Erensü
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2024 14:44
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2024 14:44

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