Sacralisation: defying the politicisation of security in Turkey
European Review of International Studies
Verlag Barbara Budrich
94 - 114
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In early 2016, a small town called Kilis on Turkey’s southeast border became the target of unguided short-range rockets originating from an ISIS-controlled zone in Syria. Continuing over a five-month period, the attacks claimed 20+ lives, rendered hundreds of people homeless, and traumatised many more. Yet, the public in the rest of Turkey remained mostly unaware of the havoc caused by these attacks. This is not to say that appropriate steps to address the rocket attacks were not taken. Yet uttering ‘security’ was conspicuously absent from Ankara’s response repertoire. The puzzle being: how was it possible for Ankara to limit politics in the face of local civil societal actors’ and opposition MPs’ attempts to politicise security? Through sacralisation, I suggest. What follows shows that in the first half of 2016, invoking ‘sacred’ cultural codes in framing the events helped Ankara to limit politics around security.