Turkey, gender violence, and trolls


Elektra Kostopoulou




The present study examines gender violence in Turkey through the dialectic consideration of patriarchal thinking in the sphere of political symbolism. Our main argument is that the case-study of Turkey should not be treated as an anomaly, but as an expression of broader 21st century political dynamics. From a Greek or even global vantage point, gender violence in Turkey is often presented as an expression of ‘barbarism’ and as a characteristic of socio-economically ‘backward’ societies: a limited perspective that establishes artificial distinctions between the observed and the observer; or, respectively, between the “uncivilized” and the “civilized”. The above angle fully obscures any discussion of patriarchal politics and ideologies in their multifaceted essence. Starting with this realization, the present analysis aims to propose that condemning gender violence only in superficial, selective, or self-serving ways perpetuates artificial divisions that, in essence, serve well the survival of patriarchal thinking. Our counter argument is that, far from constituting the exclusive characteristic of a religion, country, or region, gender violence forms the systemic manifestation of global dynamics and should be examined as such.


Dr. Elektra Kostopoulou joined the Federated Department of History (Rutgers University and NJIT) in 2017. Her courses, research, and publications focus on population movements, conflict, and coexistence in the Eastern Mediterranean from the late Ottoman Empire to the present.