Devran Koray Ocal is a current PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Geography. His research focuses on a faith-based civil society organization, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), and engages with the Turkish-Sunni diaspora’s complex construction of intimate state in Germany. DITIB is a Sunni-Islam based umbrella civil society organization. However, the Turkish-Sunni diaspora does not consider DITIB simply a civil society organization, but instead attribute a highly complex role of statehood to it. For them, DITIB reflects a ‘paternalist’ and ‘familial’ version of the Turkish state in Germany.
Arguing that this perceived statehood is located in the Turkish-Sunni community’s feelings and emotions that emerge from their everyday intimate relations and encounter within DITIB associations, this research locates spaces of states in intimate processes, relations and feelings. Despite the recent steps within geographies of states literature for understanding states from everyday and intimate perspectives, the role of feelings and emotions in the process of state-making have been ignored. Employing approaches and concepts of feminist geographers who examine territories, nationalisms and international politics through bodies, intimate relations, emotions and affects, this study brings emotions and feelings to geographies of state literature and explains how spaces of states are not only constructed by geopolitically defined territories, military bases and government buildings, but through intimate relations, encounters and feelings.
Sponsored by the Turkish Circle at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University and North Carolina State University.