Fluid Zones of Hegemony

Hydro-Scales, Cartographic Rule, and Place in North Cyprus
Seminars and Colloquia

Based on a 16-month ethnographic fieldwork in north Cyprus, Ezgi Özdemir's doctoral dissertation studies water infrastructure in the Turkish-occupied territories of Cyprus, enduring patronage relations between the Turkish state and the de-facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and emergent political subjectivities and collective identificatory practices of peoples in north Cyprus, which are contingent upon notions of exceptionality, non-recognition, and infrastructural and political dependence. For this, she looks specifically at the Turkish state-funded water pipeline from Turkey to north Cyprus—a megaproject that has since been privatized along with the transferred water and the local water resources of the north.
The paper Özdemir presented at this IWM Fellow’s Colloquium focuses on the ways in which technical and professional knowledge production around the Turkey-north Cyprus pipeline reproduces hegemonic hydro-scales and geopolitical implications regarding the island and its Eastern Mediterranean region. Cartographic and geomorphological epistemic practices about the region and its water resources, river basins, and similar do not simply belong in the realm of the technical and scientific field. Persistent contestations over where the borders lie (i.e., Buffer Zone between the de-facto TRNC and Republic of Cyprus) or which river basin includes which area in the region are all knowledge represented in maps that produce a multiplicity of hydro-scales. In this paper therefore, Özdemir shows how cartographic representations of the island, the pipeline project, and geomorphology of the region generate communal ideas about “their place in the region”, what being a “half-island” means, and their changing relative location to their geographical surroundings.

The speaker is Ezgican Özdemir, PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University, Budapest and IWM Visiting Fellow.

Ayşe Çağlar, IWM Permanent Fellow, commented and moderated the event.