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Authors:Semra Somersan: Dept. of Sociology, Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey
Publication title:Swapping Identities in Sulukele
Conference:Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11–13 June 2007
Publication type: Abstract and Fulltext
Article No.:071
Abstract:This paper will focus on an aspect of an ongoing research in Sulukule, Istanbul, to try to understand how and why many Roma living in this neighbourhood disclaim their ethnic identity, emphasizing instead, their religious identity.

Sulukule is the oldest and most continuous Roma settlement in this part of the world according to historians; a neighbourhood along the historical Byzantine city walls where a group of Roma lived over the centuries, a significant proportion of whom had made a profession of playing, singing and dancing to the middle classes in Istanbul. Though largely peripheral to the life of the city within whose borders they lived and worked, and largely ignored if not discriminated against by the city dwellers, occasionally they “attracted the attention” of the local politicians, the military and/or the municipalities.

Here I will focus on the dynamics of identity formation processes among Sulukule Roma, and the exchanging of Roma-“Gypsy” for “Moslem” identity while simultaneously deliberating on why religious belonging, fairly new though it may be, overrides ethnicit

No. of pages:12
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3686
ISSN (online):1650-3740
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

Semra Somersan (2007). Swapping Identities in Sulukele, Inter: A European Cultural Studies : Conference in Sweden 11–13 June 2007;article=071 (accessed 4/25/2014)