Abstract: Human rights are politically fraught in Turkey, provoking suspicion and scrutiny among government workers for their anti-establishment left-wing connotations. Nevertheless, with eyes worldwide trained on Turkish politics, and with accession to the European Union underway, Turkey's human rights record remains a key indicator of its governmental legitimacy. Drawing on her long-term, intensive fieldwork in human rights training programs for police officers, judges and prosecutors, healthcare workers, and prison personnel, Elif Babül shows how government workers encounter human rights rhetoric and articulates the perils and promises of these encounters for the subjects and objects of Turkish governance.
Bio: Elif Babül received her PhD from Stanford University in 2012. A political and legal anthropologist, Babül’s primary specialization is in national and transnational bureaucracies and the politics of human rights in Turkey. Her research has been funded by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Her work has appeared in the American Ethnologist, PoLAR, and New Perspectives on Turkey. Her book Bureaucratic Intimacies: Translating Human Rights in Turkey, published in 2017 by Stanford University Press, is the winner of the 2018 William A. Douglass Prize for the best book in Europeanist Anthropology.