Volume 21, Issue 6
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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Between the civil and uncivil lie ‘borderline’ discourses where speech that appears civil is laden with uncivil ideas, norms and discourses that normalise anti-pluralist, nativist and exclusionary views. Such discourses are found in videos and websites of far-right groups and in some mainstream media. Here, we argue that Turkey’s government and mainstream media use similar discursive strategies. We examine both speeches and media representations of these that represent capital punishment since Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 2002 rise to politics. Analysis leans on Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies to expose how Erdoğan, who transforms from a cautious reformist prime minister into an authoritarian-populist president, has always articulated uncivil ideas cloaked in civility, with uncivility increasing over time. Analysis of lexica and imagery in associated news stories reveal how media normalise such discourses. As such, these borderline discursive acts contribute to a decline in civility in a deeply polarised society.


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