The wall: (dis)continuities of the state making practices on the Turkish-Syrian border
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CitationAras, R. (2017). The Wall: (dis)continuities of the state making practices on the Turkish-Syrian border, The American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, November 29-December 3, Washington DC., USA.
The politics of determining, maintaining and protecting territorial borders that have been constantly crushing with waves of immigration, refugees, smuggling and terror have revealed another face of crisis of modern nation-state. From past to the present, diverse forms of security and control as state making and power performing practices have been taking place on territorial borders. Considering Turkish territorial southern borders, state discourses, official laws, land markers, wires, watch towers, police stations, border gates, and landmines are well-known strategies of authorities to protect and maintain state hegemony on the Turkish-Syrian border and borderland since early decades of the Republic. The physical and ideological interventions of new nation-state along with attempt of forming a new cartographic memory immediately led to production of numerous events of border crossings, smuggling, banditry and death along with stories of separation, loss, mourning, pain, and yearning in the local communities. Today, as a recurrent conventional strategy and security measure, local people are witnessing construction of the security wall by the Turkish authorities as a new marker and symbol of territorial sovereignty due to various terror attacks and infiltrations. This paper aims to document how border people have experienced and reacted to state sponsored security and control measures on the Turkish-Syrian border from past to the present based on materials of an ethnographic research.