Temel Jokes in the Turkish parliament: A context-based cultural analysis of "the parliament folk"
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The classical theories of folklore have defined folklore as the knowledge of the culture of rural and uneducated people in contrast to urban and educated citizens of the country. This article explores the possibilities of applying modern folklore theories to a group of people who are politically situated in a country's most central organization: the representatives of the Repubhc of Turkey. Therefore, the questions of whether the group of representatives can be regarded as a "folk" and whether their cultural production can be examined through folklore theories will be the first issues to be dealt with. The representatives' telling Temel jokes (the most common contemporary Turkish joke hero from the Black Sea region) during their official speech on the parliament chair is analyzed as the group's cultural production and daily ritual. The cultural context of "the parliament folk" is explained by the study of Temel jokes in daily official parliament reports. The problems of making a cultural analysis on a written text are widely discussed before the discourse analysis. The theoretical background of the paper is based on the primal resources of context and performance based theories of folk literature, as well as the secondary sources on folk literature.