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The symbolic construction of communism in Turkish anti-communist propaganda during the Cold War

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The aim of this study is to analyse cultural and social referential importance of the stereotypes of communists/communism in the anti-communist propaganda texts circulated in Turkey during the Cold War. The article displays the symbolism underlying anti-communist discourse by re-reading the propaganda material as texts that introduce the reader to ultimate anti-communist fantasies. The analyzed texts were mainly produced by one of the leading participants of anti-communist struggle, namely the Association for Fighting Communism in Turkey (AFCT) (Türkiye Komünizmle Mücadele Derneği, TKMD, 1963–1977), and its members. The article shows that the analyzed anti-communist propaganda creates mystification as a strategy and builds a narration in which temporal, spatial, and personal references are obscure. The article also shows that anti-communist propaganda operates on traditional dichotomies nature/culture, emotion/reason, and body/mind and that the images of communists/communism are constructed by appealing to a variety of animal species connoting “danger”; the unsocial connoting of the “absence of rules” and animality; and the woman of desire recalling the “immoral” in the popular imagination. It is argued that the texts are all interdiscursive thus allowing for the sexist, Islamist and nationalist arguments to be used as supportive subtopics while defending the anti-communist cause. The analysis also establishes intertextual relationship with the Nazi anti-Jewish and anti-communist discourse.
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Keywords: Cold War anti-communist propaganda; Discourse analysis; Nazi anti-Jewish discourse; Nazi anti-communist discourse; Pan-Turkism; anti-communism in Turkey

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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