International Journal of the Sociology of Language
Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.
Ed. by Duchêne, Alexandre / Coulmas, Florian
CiteScore 2016: 0.53
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.505
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.716
Zygmunt Bauman, Alexander Laban Hilton and Paul Havemann, amongst others, have argued that genocide is intimately linked to modernity. Modern discourses on development, modernization and western science as well as key meta-narratives of modernity (advancing the teleological myth of progress and civilization), “gardener's visions” and the very categorization and standardization of national languages (crucial to the biopolitical formation of global populations under the system of modern nation-states) have all legitimated and effected policies and practices that have been genocidal in their nature and scope. This article examines and details the extent to which all these identified aspects of modernity can be observed in the case of Turkey. The findings indicate that linguistic/cultural and physical genocide of Kurds in Turkey has taken place (over the past eight and a half decades) as a direct consequence of the Kemalist/Ataturkist modernity project. Language policy – which has advocated linguistic imperialism alongside linguistic genocide – has been a critical tool for the creation of the modern Turkish nation-state.