The Undead Father: The ‘Epic’ of 15 July as a Gothic Tale

  • Bülent Somay


In every national (re)construction effort, the primordial imagery of the ‘father’ is hastily summoned to serve as the masculine ideal around which coercion and domination is structured. In Western cultures the father is transformed into a ‘name’ (the Name-of-the-Father), whereas in the East the bodily existence of the father persisted, until ultimately defeated by the ‘West’. In Turkey, the defeated father was ‘reborn’ in the persona of Mustafa Kemal, as the victorious military commander ‘against the West’. His death left his place empty, as a ‘revered memory’, until Tayyip Erdoğan’s bid for ‘fatherhood’, which could only be viable in a ‘state of exception’. Somay argues that the abortive coup attempt of 15 July has finally given Erdoğan the chance to be the ‘sovereign of exception’.


Oriental father Name-of-the-Father State of exception Epic Gothic 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bülent Somay
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium

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