While long a taboo subject, sectarian difference (Alevi-Sunni) in Turkey has become an increasingly pressing concern. A structuring polarity of the Turkish polity, this difference is nevertheless unstable and emergent, constituted both through dominant media and in everyday encounters. Focusing on the semi-intimate spaces of neighborhoods, we show how encounters with others create openings for receptive ethical engagement at the same time as they frequently collapse into anxious antagonisms that exacerbate the precarity of marginal populations. Our central question is both theoretical and political: Is it possible to combat toxic sectarian and state violence by recovering the political potential of emergent difference that inheres in the affective encounter with the other?
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