This article examines a peculiar case of commodification of culture under the shadow of a law serving a repressive agenda of modernist, secularist cultural politics. Fortune-telling, criminalized in the name of nationalist modernization in the early 20th century, has become popularized and commercialized in millennial Turkey in emergent businesses called fortune-telling cafés, where complimentary cup readings are provided with a cup of Turkish coffee to avoid persecution. Informed by fieldwork in fortune-telling cafés, I explicate this commodification in terms of the recent recalibration of Turkey’s national identity and culture, specifically in relation to Europe. The article analyzes the relationship between commodification of culture and cultural politics in the particular context of post-colonial nationalisms that host a strong tension between popular and national cultures.
- cultural politics
- post-colonial nationalism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)