Melek Mutioglu Ozkesen is a research assistant at the Department of International Trade and Business in Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University (AYBU), Turkey. She received her doctorate degree from the Programme of International Relations of Ankara University in 2020. Her PhD. study analyzes the land dispossession and state formation through commercialization of public lands in Turkey in 2000s. Her research area based on the critical political economy and development studies with specific reference to land politics and rural transformation of Turkey.
POLITICAL-ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF LAND DISPOSSESSION UNDER THE RULE OF JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY IN TURKEY
This paper will analyse processes of dispossession in Turkey in the last two decades by focusing on the transformation of the land tenure and the political economic specificities of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) rule that have been in power since 2002. Problematizing the transformation of the land tenure within the context of the JDP governments’ conditions of political and economic reproduction within Turkey’s financialized capitalism, it will investigate in detail the politics of four specific cases, namely international land deals Turkey takes part in, the Green Road Project in the Northern coast, the Third Bridge Project in Istanbul and the projects of Housing Development Administration (TOKI) around the whole country. While examining these projects, this paper will underline three specific strategies and mechanisms that the JDP pursue to put into effect this transformation. Firstly, the JDP uses its authority over the public lands by seeing them as a source of cash financing and transferring them to capital via tacit privatization processes or creating urban and rural rent spaces. Secondly, the JDP creates its own local capital elites through the projects commercializing common lands. Third, while implementing these strategies, the JDP resorts to populist discourses such as Turkey’s role in global competition, national revival, servicing to the public by creating employment opportunities, regional development and housing policy. All these strategies and mechanisms help the JDP to maintain the electoral support of the poorer layers of the society and to reproduce itself economically, ideologically and politically.
Affiliation: Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University, Turkey