Between Privileges and Sacrifices: Heteronormativity and Turkish Nationalism in Urban Turkey


JOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY, vol.55, no.2, pp.204-222, 2008 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00918360802129428
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, ATLA Religion Database, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, Gender Studies Database, MEDLINE, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, PAIS International, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.204-222
  • Keywords: Heteronormativity, homophobia, Turkish nationalism, masculinity, queer theory, LGBTI, Turkey, GENDER, MASCULINITY, HOMOPHOBIA, RETHINKING, SEXUALITY, POLITICS, ISSUE, POWER
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


This paper examines the relation between nationalism and heteronormativity through the lens of hegemonic masculinity and shows how Turkish nationalism helps to construct the "normal" and thus strengthen heteronormative thinking in Turkish society. Utilizing in-depth interviews in canakkale with 16 men who carry the typical features of a privileged Turkish citizen-namely the ones self-identifying as Turkish, Sunni Muslim, heterosexual, and breadwinner-my aim in the paper is to reveal and comprehend attitudes toward non-heterosexual people in Turkey, to challenge the effect of the possible nationalist ideological tendencies on participants' discourses, and to explicate if such tendencies play a part in justifying their attitudes. I suggest that respondents' privileges are obtained in exchange for strict commitment to Turkish nationalistic values. These values not only define what constitutes "normal" but also determine and disparage anyone who deviates from such definition. Greater commitment to such values signals a more powerful heterosexual matrix and thus greater exclusion of queer people in Turkey.