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Gypsies: “The People of Another World”

Author(s): Ozlem Bayraktar

Journal: Global Media Journal : Turkish Edition
ISSN 1309-7601

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Multiculturalism | Gypsies | identity | culture

This paper will attempt to examine the validity of multiculturalist policies for overcoming the various kinds of injustice experienced by Gypsies in Turkey. The focus of the study is the interviews made with the inhabitants of a settlement area in İstanbul, Sarıyer, Rumelikavağı, called “Gypsy Quarter.” This article will seek answers to the questions like what objective and subjectives dynamics are behind the identity formation processes of these people called Romans or Gypsies, how they define the patterns of social hierarchy which define them, how they manage to domesticate “their pains” and at what moments they fail in doing so.On the other hand, this articles examines whether the self-expression of the Gypsy identity in a heterogeneous public sphere can provide a potential space for Gypsies’ struggle against “the dominant national subject” and for healing their “pains”. This article will also try to show that multiculturalist policies risk falling into “cultural essentialism,” by accepting cultural identities as unchanging, clearly delienated entities. Before seeking answers to such questions, the article will shed light

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