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Historicising Habermas’ Public Sphere: Conceptual Distinction between the Public Spheres of Habermas and Turkey
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Volume 2, 2014
Issue 6 (December)
Pages: 152-165   |   Vol. 2, No. 6, December 2014   |   Follow on         
Paper in PDF Downloads: 44   Since Aug. 28, 2015 Views: 2471   Since Aug. 28, 2015
Eduard Alan Bulut, Political Science and International Relations Department, Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey.
This study argues that it is necessary to historicise Habermas’ concept of “public sphere” and not to apply it to the present day in the form defined by Habermas, at least to all countries. Rather, a clear line should be drawn between the contextually-varying concept of public sphere in Habermas’ works and the recent understanding of public sphere in countries with assertive secularism in order to understand what is actually meant by this particular concept. There is a world of difference between the key terms of discussions on-going in Turkey and in Habermasian politico-philosophical works with regard to public sphere. In Turkey, the State has transformed the meaning of public sphere, has monopolised the sphere of the public and has developed oversensitivity to it; therefore, the term has undergone a loss of meaning. The public sphere, meaning of which has been shaped by Turkish founding fathers’ unitary ideology and secured by their subsequent heirs as a result of their status quo concerns, has gone far from the public sphere defined by Habermas.
Habermas, Turkey, Public Sphere, Assertive Secularism, Private Sphere
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