A comparative and semiotic reading of newspaper headlines: Northern and Southern Cyprus


4th International Conference on Awareness: Language and Awareness., Çanakkale, Turkey, 2 - 04 December 2020, pp.13

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Çanakkale
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.13
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Wittgenstein (1889–1951) indicated that signs are pictures of reality, displaying it as if it were in a sequence of frames. Through such frames, the representation of reality serves as directive guides for taking action in the world. Bakhtin (1895–1975) argued that signs gain and maintain meaning when exchanged through social discourse. Signs expedite the dialogic construction of meaning. And, Hall highlights that the media representation, as a social setting of sign exchanges, reconstructs meaning rather than reflecting. Therefore, the media representation is not an after occurrence but a constitutive one. Semiotics provides methodological precision to the study of meaning and culture by examining signs, which is often ignored as an area of focus. The purpose of this study is to make a comparative and semiotic reading of the newspapers published in northern and southern Cyprus, namely, Kathimerini, Phileleftheros, Kıbrıs Gazetesi, and Gündem Kıbrıs. The visuals accompanying the newspaper headlines are examined, and the connotative meaning carried by such signs is explored. The findings indicate that the states are presented through their presidents. The Presidents of Turkey, Northern Cyprus, and Southern Cyprus are represented with different connotations in distinct newspapers. In the newspapers of Southern Cyprus, the representation of Turkey and mainly the president is displayed via semiotic elements with negative connotations. However, when it comes to the Northern Cyprus, the newspapers present Turkey and the Turkish President rather positively. On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriot President is represented in a distanced manner in Southern Cyprus' newspapers compared to the Greek Cypriot President, yet it is not possible to state that the Greek Cypriot President’s representation in Turkish newspapers is negative but objective.