TERRITORIAL STIGMATIZATION AS A PROCESS OF BIO POLITICS: THE CASE OF HACIHUSREV
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This paper discusses the stigmatization of Hacihusrev Neighborhood as a criminal area utilizing concepts borrowed from Agamben's understanding of bio-politics and the territorial stigmatization of Wacquant. The stigmatization of Hacihusrev Neighborhood, where peripatetic Roma groups as homo sacers reduced to 'bare life' had settled, occurred by means of the popular narrative produced by the mass media of the era. The manipulative representation of the social transformation occurring in the neighborhood turned it into a place where the exception became the rule. There are two different late-peripatetic groups in Hacihusrev Neighborhood. Roma tobacco workers, who came to the neighborhood during the Turk-Greek Population Exchange of 1923-24, had had an intense experience of waged occupation due to massive labor demand in the geography from which they came, late Ottoman Macedonia. Roma tobacco workers thus became a part of a mainstream social process, participating in waged occupations and in the leftist politics of the era and so pushed the limits of the area in which the peripatetics had been placed historically by means of legal pretexts and social relations. The other late-peripatetics, who came to the neighborhood mainly after 1950 from Bursa and its surroundings, had almost no opportunity for waged occupations. Excluded from the mainstream social relations, they were forced to be a part of criminal activities. Popular crime narratives in the media in the 1960s increased the visibility of the late-peripatetics from Bursa and rendered the Roma tobacco workers invisible. Thus, Hacihusrev Neighborhood was perceived as the natural habitat of criminal suspects. The stigma that surrounded the neighborhood in this process imprisoned the Roma tobacco workers in the very area where they had partly escaped before and their historical distinctiveness as a productive force became less certain. This paper aims to reveal the mechanisms of the stigmatization process through content analysis of the related news published between 1930-2009 in Milliyet and Cumhuriyet newspapers, the review of relevant literature, and the data collected during field research.