Theorising Turkish Gothic : National Identity, Ideology and the Gothic

Bicakci Syed, Tugce and Spooner, Catherine (2018) Theorising Turkish Gothic : National Identity, Ideology and the Gothic. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

[thumbnail of 2018SyedPhD]
PDF (2018SyedPhD)
Tugce_Bicakci_Syed_PhD_Thesis.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs.

Download (25MB)


Despite increasing critical interest in Gothic in non-Western cultures, Turkish Gothic writing remains an undiscovered area of research within worldwide Gothic studies. My thesis fills this gap by bringing together Glennis Byron’s concept of ‘globalgothic’, historically informed understandings of the Gothic and Turkish national identity to theorise Turkish Gothic as a mode intimately linked to the ideological processes of Turkish identity construction. Central to this thesis is the understanding of Turkish national identity as a fragmented construct due to Turkey’s ambivalent relationship with the West over the centuries and its commonly referenced role as a bridge between the West and the East. Accordingly, the thesis begins by positioning Turkey in relation to its historical and cultural ties to the Western Gothic tradition. I reveal the origins of the multidirectional flows of globalgothic between Western and Turkish Gothic traditions, through the examination of selected works from British and American cultures depicting Turkish identity through a Gothic lens. Thereafter, taking particular times of political and social change in Turkey into account, I focus on novels and films from 1923 to 2017, with regards to their employment and transformation of Western Gothic tropes using discussions of Turkish national identity. I argue that Turkish Gothic manifests the nation’s anxieties concerning the in-betweenness of Turkish national identity and its ideological repercussions as being either Western and secular or Eastern and conservative. In doing so, the Gothic in Turkey interchangeably becomes a counternarrative for both ideologies, each demonising and undermining the other, and therefore representing the tension between two poles of the political spectrum in contemporary Turkey. As the definitions of Turkish national identity change according to the emerging political stresses in Turkey, Turkish Gothic will continue to haunt its audiences with the dark undersides of Turkishness.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
26 Sep 2018 11:26
Last Modified:
12 Dec 2023 01:04