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By Nesrin Ücarlar, n/a


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Additional resources for Between majority power and minority resistance : Kurdish linguistic rights in Turkey

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Contributing to social harmony with their languages and cultures that are limited to ceremonial existence, minorities participate in the celebration of diversity that is protected within the framework of national unity. In this envisioning, cultural diversity is the appreciation of ‘pre-given cultural contents and customs’ and remains to be an object of empirical knowledge (Bhabha 2001: 34). This is what makes Bhabha calling for a ‘shift from the cultural as an epistemological object to culture as enactive, enunciatory site,’ which ‘opens up possibilities for other “times” of cultural meaning and other narrative space’ (ibid: 178).

According to Agamben, ‘the exception is what cannot be included in the whole of which it is a member and cannot be a member of the whole, in which it is always already included’ (1995: 25). The fate of the exception is at the hands of the majority rule. Therefore, minorities ask for supplementary rights to protect their interests and ensure their survival. In this respect, asking for positive discrimination demands an end to the liberal, if not totalitarian, blindness which ignores the political, economic and social differences within the community that are crucial for the full and equal enjoyment of rights by all citizens.

In this respect, the liberal approach strives primarily to guarantee social (national) mobility or social (national) cohesion and deliberative democracy in a liberal nation-state (see Kymlicka and Patten 2003: 1-51). Such reservations are relevant only if one can contend that both the social mobility of minority members and deliberative democracy are guaranteed by national linguistic convergence or that linguistic diversity is an obstacle for social mobility of minority members and deliberative democracy.

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