Valentina MarcellaOct 12, 2023
Graphic Satire Reckoning with the 1980 Coup in Turkey
Istituto per l’Oriente C. A. Nallino 2022
Valentina Marcella's Laughing Matters: Graphic Satire Reckoning with the 1980 Coup in Turkey (Istituto per l’Oriente C. A. Nallino 2022) focuses on the production of political cartoons in Turkey in the context of authoritarianism and repression that was brought about by the coup d’état of September 12 1980, and by the military rule that followed. It builds on theories of political satire as an active element of political culture. Political cartoons serve as the lens through which the evolution of the political space under the regime is explored. The analysis revolves around Gırgır, the satirical magazine that in the decade prior to the coup had already contributed to the emergence of a socially and politically critical field with its politically engaged columns and illustrations and that, during the regime, became the best-selling weekly at a national level. Two main issues are investigated. On the one hand, how Gırgır’s satire survived under a regime that, in its attempt to turn citizens into a homogeneous, uniform, and apolitical society, came to repress any possibility of criticism. On the other hand, how an alternative political response was elaborated through the cartoons by civil society and intellectuals in reaction to authoritarianism. Overall, the book contributes to the study of the military regime of the early 1980s, of satire in Turkey, of censorship, and of the strategies of dissent in authoritarian regimes.
Reuben Silverman is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Stockholm University’s Institute for Turkish Studies.