© 2018

The Spectacle of Politics and Religion in the Contemporary Turkish Cinema


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 1-8
  3. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 9-26
  4. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 27-40
  5. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 41-55
  6. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 57-71
  7. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 73-87
  8. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 89-101
  9. Ebru Thwaites Diken
    Pages 103-108
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 109-114

About this book


This book explores how politics, religion and cinema encounter and re-invent each other in contemporary Turkish cinema. It investigates their common origin—the spectacle, which each field views as an instrument of governmentality. The book analyses six recent internationally known Turkish films. Thwaites discusses how the cinematic nature of politics and religion unfold amidst the increasing media visibility of religion in contemporary Turkey. The chapters explore the relationship between art and religion, and compare religion and philosophy in their relation to truth, belief, and economy. Through close examination of these films, the author highlights the role of cinema in contemporary Turkey and at the heart of the religious paradigm.


Turkish cinema Turkish film Political cinema Religion on screen contemporary cinema religion and cinema the spectacle governmentality religion in Turkey art and religion religion and philosophy contemporary Turkey Moderate Islam Gölgesizler İftarlık Gazoz İtirazım Var Takva Ulak

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociologyİstinye UniversityİstanbulTurkey

About the authors

Ebru Çiğdem Thwaites Diken is Assistant Professor of Sociology at İstinye University, Turkey. 

Bibliographic information


“This original and challenging book is likely to make an impact beyond its ostensible topic, Turkish cinema. Its deeper subject is the specularization of politics and religion, a process where the cinema—defined broadly as the primacy of visual modes of representation over other discursive practices—plays an inordinate role.  Given the problematic alignment of politics and religion in several parts of the globe, understanding one of the common sources has therefore become an urgent task.” (Thomas Elsaesser, Columbia University and Emeritus professor, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

“Ebru Thwaites Diken’s important take on contemporary Turkish cinema highlights the multiple layers where religion, politics and audiovisuality entangle. The case studies of films are insights into the recent decades of social transformation of Turkey in terms of urbanism, religion and the republic nation state. The book is a timely reminder about cinema’s important function in not only representing religion as a stable set of doctrines but as a dynamic part of social reality; a generator of affects and sensations.” (Jussi Parikka, University of Southampton, UK)