Page 118 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
acts of recognition and confirmation. To describe the range of real and/or possible resources that
can be put into action when necessary and which presuppose the presence of a
durable network
of
institutionalized, albeit to adifferent degree,
relations
ofmutual acknowledgement and recognition,
or, in other words, relations with regard to
group belonging
(cf. Bourdieu), means to introduce the
notion of social capital. This kind of capital gains importance in the Turkish social space and its
accumulation entails exercising a number of practical acts connected with that which I define as
strategies for social investment
. It is through them that we see the reproduction of capital from
social relations – in the first years after out-migrating and now; by the parents of the active then
and retiring now generation of parents; by the children of the active then generation who are the
active generation now; by the born then and actively engaged in life now generation.
The accumulation and reproduction of this capital of social recognition entails “
making a
name of your own
”. Themaking of a“name” in the discursive space delineated by the Federation by
meansof its speakers’publicexpressions is achieved throughwhat I call
strategies for concentrating
social capital
. These strategies lead to the accumulation in practice of enormous power resources
in the leaders of the federations and confederations. They are authorized to speak “in the name of”
all Bulgarian-Turkish re-settlers who recognize and confirm themselves as belonging to the group
of “Balkan Turks” by means of various forms of membership in those organizations. The authorized
speakers of this group absorb “
in
-themselves” the power they are vested in and begin to emit it
out-of
-themselves” to the regular members of the group of Bulgarian out-migrants in the manner
of their own power. In the statement of the association in Edirne, issued to themedia on 09.05.2009,
we read:
We will never forget the tragic events of 1989. Let us bow to the memory of the victims of
the campaign for forceful renaming of the Bulgarian Turks, of all repressed and forcefully evicted
from their birth country hundreds of thousands of people.
We will invest every possible
effort to ensure they teach a lesson to our contemporaries and never happen again
(Emphasis mine, S.P.).
The above illustrates the way in which the
indicative
“I speak on behalf of” flows into the
imperative
of “I speak in the name of” a social group. In other words, the
“I”
transforms into “
we
which in essence entails a
symbolic inculcation
through
monopolizing collective truth
. What
is more, monopolizing collective truth, they gradually begin to see themselves (to “recognize” and
“affirm” themselves) as those who have the right to speak on key issues related not only to the
group of“Bulgarian out-migrants”in Edirne but also to those outside it. Further examples along such
lines are the pronouncements on the occasion of voting in a number of Bulgarian municipalities
whereby they – those municipalities - acknowledge the existence of Armenian genocide. As a
result from this act, decisions were made to sever the “sister” ties, which were previously in place,
with those municipalities and towns and to refrain from participation in joint projects of trans-
border cooperation with them, among other steps. This process of
power concentration through
the accumulation of social capital and its subsequent transformation into symbolic capital
is