In Sacrificial Limbs: Masculinity, Disability, and Political Violence in Turkey (2020), Salih Can Açıksöz explores the particularities of physically disabled veterans in Turkey from the 1980s and the beginning of the Turkish state's counterinsurgency war against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê; PKK) to the 2010s and the rise of neoliberalism, Gezi Park Protests, and the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi; AKP). In particular, he charts how particular socio-political structures pushed the disabled men in his analysis toward ultranationalism. The men that Açıksöz tracks are a particular subset of the disability population in Turkey known as gazis. "Gazi," an honorific military title, has been bestowed upon disabled Turkish soldiers injured during active duty during the Kurdish conflict. Açıksöz importantly underscores that the title is "a religiously loaded and symbolically dense nationalist title that has historically been associated with medieval warrior-proselytizers of Islam and with Ottoman sovereigns and commanders, as well as with the founding father of the secular republic, Gazi Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk)" (Açıksöz 6). Bringing to bear the loaded history of this honorific in Sacrificial Limbs, Açıksöz describes how gazis are uniquely positioned within Turkish society as they are caught between two competing regimes of signification: stigma and sanctification. The strength of Sacrificial Limbs is twofold: on one hand, it delves deeply into the history of Turkish politics, culture, and social life while at the same time it opens up to a broader sphere of applicability for those interested in gender, sexuality, disability, nationalism, and politics.

In his first two chapters, "Being-on-the-Mountains" and "The Two Sovereignties: Masculinity and the State," Açıksöz lays out the historical context undergirding his book and the gendered and classed historical preconditions that lend social and ideological coherence to gazis. Much of these chapters outline how normative Turkish masculinity is formed through compulsory military service (30). In this section, Açıksöz delves into the different and gendered ways that the Turkish state expects sacrifice and part of the socio-historical baggage that comes with this is the traditional honor bestowed upon religious martyrs who died for Islam at the hands of infidels (21). Gazis present a particular challenge to this ideology as they did not die but became disabled. These disabilities present barriers in achieving normative masculinity and presents what Açıksöz describes as a debt between the state and gazis. These two chapters are illustrative and provide a nuanced, historically contingent context for understanding disability. At the same time, these two chapters, along with the introduction, were at times overly burdened by political and philosophical theory. The moments when Açıksöz works from his interlocutors' narratives directly are also the ones where his points land most forcefully.

I found the following two chapters, "Of Gazis and Beggars" and "Communities of Loss," to be the most impactful and powerful, though this is the case in part to all of the information outlined in the preceding chapters. In these chapters, Açıksöz delves deeper into the significance of physical disability in Turkey and outlines some of the more specific forms of stigma gazis are faced with and how becoming disabled rather than becoming martyred presents affective challenges. For someone familiar with the field of disability studies, the structural role of stigma will not be a new discussion but the way that Açıksöz ties stigma to the state and masculinity is very insightful. Part of the ideological promise embedded in compulsory military service is the achievement of normative adult masculinity. Açıksöz notes, for example, that this includes marriage and the ability to be the breadwinner of the household. As Açıksöz explains, disability arrived at through military service/sacrifice presents its own set of barriers. These men, feeling emasculated because they are no longer deemed ideal marriage partners and infantilized as they require support from their natal families and the state, experience a gap between what they were promised for their service and what they experience as the result of their service (87). Açıksöz does an exquisite job of articulating how these men experience both sanctification and stigmatization through their relationship to the state while also attending to the ways popular, state-sponsored, and other organizations are networked, at times ambivalently, around gazis.

Throughout his text, often explicitly and sometimes in the subtext, Açıksöz connects the ways that gender, sexual, and class norms intersect with being physically disabled and how these often push his subjects toward an ultranationalist political ideology. In the final two chapters, "Prosthetic Revenge" and "Prosthetic Debts," Sacrificial Limbs makes it clear how this political trajectory takes shape. We see how the men gain social significance through the state and media representation, framed as sacrifices for the nation-state. As gazis and not martyrs, however, these men can also critique the state. Açıksöz illustrates this through claims to sovereignty, where soldiers are sanctified through their sacrifice for state sovereignty. Prosthetic limbs become a way for the state to repay that debt. This makes prosthetic limbs ideologically resonant and becomes a pathway for gazis to reclaim their masculine sovereignty by way of critiquing the state through the performative and mediatized removal of these protheses (155-58). This, in part, is how Açıksöz maps the trajectory toward ultranationalism, a ceremonial series of sacrifices and debts. and compellingly demonstrates how changes in economic structures have continued to redefine the relationship between gazis and the state (162).

My review can only present a thin version of the complicated, interwoven arguments Açıksöz presents in Sacrificial Limbs. This book is especially refreshing for its approach to disability: it presents a case study that is relevant to anyone interested in disability studies and scholarship generally but it particularizes these topics to how they emerge in Turkey. Further, it is not a book about disability generally in Turkey, though it does point to what could be further avenues of study. Açıksöz takes great care to unpack Turkish words and terms, explaining their nuances of meaning thoroughly but without being pedantic. Due to its global awareness, it would make a great companion to Julie Livingston's Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana (2005) and Nirmala Erevelles' Disability and Difference in Global Contexts: Enabling a Transformative Body Politic (2011). In addition to this text being useful for the field of disability studies, it is also highly relevant for those who study gender, sexuality, nationalism, Turkish and Ottoman history, and the Middle East.

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