At the intersection of center and periphery: Kurdish language in the Turkish monolingual sphere

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Bilkent University
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This thesis focuses on, monolingualist paradigm, World Literature system and translation as its main tool. While Turkish and Kurdish, Turkish Literature and Kurdish literature provide a fruitful contest area to these concepts, both opens a path to interrogate the borders of monolingual paradigm and the center-periphery dynamics of World Literature. In Kurdish case, it both continues its existence within Turkish and by articulating the World Literature orbit, it aims to construct its own literary space upon that. The novels of Ayhan Geçgin and Mehtap Ceyran, who write in Turkish although their mother tongue is Kurdish, provide to follow the traces of Kurdish which embodied in Turkish. On the other hand, Kurdish with two-sided translation aims to create its own literary space. The first axis of this literary production occurs as a projection of monolingual paradigm. Kurdish, which does not have a “nation state” framework, while constructing its monolingual via translation, extends its literary space by establishing relationship with Turkish in the translation area. In that context, the enlargement of Kurdish’s politic and literary capital by those interactions is also the sign of the heaviness of monolingual paradigm in the current World Literature system which is imagined as being multilingual. On the other hand, while Bakhtiyar Ali’s novel I stared at the Night of the Citywith translation into English attains a wider literary market, the efforts of Mehmed Uzun to be able to articulate to Turkish literary market, signs the multi-center/multi peripheral dynamics of the World Literature system. Interrogation of the tension between center and periphery, the effect of construction of nation state to the hierarchy between languages and monolingual paradigm, translation and literary market, and as living space of all these concepts World Literature system are the main frame of this thesis.

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Literary market, Literary space, Monolingual paradigm, Translation, World Literature
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