A never-ending language reform: The Turkish language purifiers on Facebook.

  • Savoglu, M.
The first linguistic congress to discuss the future of the Turkish language was held in Ankara, in 1932. This congress concluded the emergency and the necessity of starting a comprehensive language reform that is referred as a “language revolution” in Turkish. Among others, one of the aims of this revolution was to purify the language by replacing the Arabic and the Persian words with Turkic words. This institutionalized, top-down revolution resulted in the politization of the Turkish language. Since the very beginning, the religious groups of the society opposed to the revolution, while the nationalists pushed forward the purification with a political goal of constructing the new, western, modern, and secularized Turkish identity. Although the reformation, at different times, was restrained by the right-wing Turkish governments after the death of Ataturk, the reformers did not give up, and they sustained their determination for purifying the language. Today, Turkey has been long governed by a religious president, and the Neo-Ottoman ideology is significantly emerging across the country. In the light of that, this paper focuses on the social media pages and groups that promote and support the purification along with the maintenance of the purified words in Turkish language. The paper studies the linguistic practices and ideologies of these pages and groups to understand the process of linguistic purification and to shed a light on the linkage between the action of purification and identity by adapting netnography as a methodological approach. The findings suggest that purification is often associated with the homogeneity in Turkish identity and the use of “foreign” words is perceived as a threat to the Turkish identity along with the Turkish language.
SGEM Research areas:
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Turkish Language; Language Reform; New Media; Purification
SGEM Book title:
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts And Humanities - ISCAH 2020
Book number:
SGEM Series:
SWS International Scientific Conferences on ART and HUMANITIES - ISCAH
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51 Al. Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
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26-27 October, 2020, https://sgemflorence.org
7th SWS International Scientific Conference on Arts And Humanities - ISCAH 2020, 26-27 October, 2020
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