DISCIPLINES OF PRESENCE IN MODERN TURKEY: Discourse, Companionship, and the Mass Mediation of Islamic Practice



This article examines a contemporary Turkish Sufi order's devotional practice of sohbet—translated here as “companionship in conversation”—to show how characteristically modern practices and techniques have come to take a role in the constitution of dispositions that are central to the viability of Islamic virtues. In the act of oral transmission sohbet cultivates the kinds of relationships considered liable to constitute a morally structured disposition in the practitioner. These relationships are subject to reformulation in the context of the mass mediation of the social environment and use of radio by the order, as practices of discipline based on face-to-face interaction articulate with models of liberal citizenship.