Liminality and Transition in Turkey: Coded Methods of Subversion through Music Videos


  • Ronan Keohane UCC


This article provides insight into crowd manipulation methods used in modern Turkish society under an increasingly authoritarian regime while also exploring various cryptic methods of subversion used by people under free speech limitations.

Turkey is a nation divided politically, geographically and ideologically. Throughout the years, Turkey has seen increasingly limiting censorship and intimidation at the hand of the current government. Due to limitations on free speech, people have had to rely on cryptic messages encoded through symbolism in their works or online forums under the guise of being something else to convey their feelings towards Turkey’s leadership and towards Turkey’s unique situation.

Aleyna Tilki is a famous young singer who has faced intense public scrutiny and negative media coverage. Tilki’s dress sense does not conform to Islamic standards in the context of a nation undergoing increasing Islamisation and she incorporates a range of international stylistic elements into her image and music videos in the context of a nation becoming increasingly isolationist and inward looking. Hidden messages conveyed through symbolism have been seen in a number of her works.