Planting hate speech to harvest hatred: How does political hate speech fuel hate crimes in Turkey?

Barbara Perry – University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
Davut Akca – University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Fatih Karakus – University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada
Mehmet F Bastug – Lakehead University, Canada


Hate crimes against dissident groups are on the rise in Turkey, and political hate speech might have a triggering effect on this trend. In this study, the relationship between political hate speech against the Gulen Movement and the hate crimes perpetrated by ordinary people was examined through semi-structured interviews and surveys with victims. The findings suggest that a rise in political hate rhetoric targeting a given group might result in a corresponding rise in hate crimes committed against them, the effects of which have been largely overlooked in the current literature in the evolving Turkish context.


Political hate speech; hate crimes; doing difference; group libel.

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