The Telephone and the Social Struggles in Turkey: An Overview of a Social History of a Communication Technology

Author(s) Burçe Çelik
Contact Burçe Çelik, Bahçeşehir University, 34353 Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 8, Iss. 2, 2014, pp. 26-45
Published November 10, 2014
Type Article
Abstract This essay presents an overview of social history of telephone technology in Turkey, by taking the user-perspective to its center. As part of the set of essays in this special issue dealing with the history of telephony in the non-west, this essay seeks to explore how the telephone has become part of social practices of people, how it has integrated into the social struggles of people and how it has been appropriated to convey the users' struggle to alter their positions in the social structure, assert their agencies and participate in the making of the modern throughout the history of modern Turkey. Rather than offering a detailed categorization, periodization and related narration of the life of the telephone technology in Turkey/Ottoman Empire, this article specifically focuses on some moments where the meanings and the uses of telephone in daily life practices and imaginations of people reflected and contributed to the mobilization of the social struggle in the form of class and/or ethnic and gender struggle.
Keywords public sphere, information and communication technology, sociology, Turkey, communication studies