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Media Coverage of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Logo for the journal Mashriq and Mahjar

CMES scholar Dalia Abdelhady has co-authored the article "Human Interest Stories in the Coverage of Syrian Refugees: A Case Study from Turkey" together with Fatmanur Delioglu (Yildiz Technical University), published in Mashriq & Mahjar - the Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies.

This paper investigates the forms of representation of Syrian refugees in Zaman newspaper, a Turkish daily that was associated with the Gülen movement, between 2011–2015. The argument focuses on human interest stories in search for alternative forms of representation from the victimization and collectivization that are emphasized in the literature. Based on open coding of 209 news articles that were identified through frame analysis, the analysis shows that the coverage included contradictory strategies of victimization and humanization. The contradictory strategies are understood as a form of inclusive othering that encompass the initial desire to attribute human qualities to the refugees and subsequent attempt to victimize them. As the newspaper was party to a larger political conflict within Turkey, we understand the contradictory strategies and especially the specific shift in representation as part of the process of politicization. The analysis concludes that politicization limits attempts to humanize refugees.

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Dalia Abdelhady's research profile