Transforming Socio-Natures in Turkey: Landscapes, State and Environmental Movements, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Transforming Socio-Natures in Turkey

Landscapes, State and Environmental Movements, 1st Edition

Edited by Onur İnal, Ethemcan Turhan


226 pages | 8 B/W Illus.

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This book is an exploration of the environmental makings and contested historical trajectories of environmental change in Turkey. Despite the recent proliferation of studies on the political economy of environmental change and urban transformation, until now there has not been a sufficiently complete treatment of Turkey's troubled environments, which live on the edge both geographically (between Europe and Middle East) and politically (between democracy and totalitarianism).

The contributors to Transforming Socio-Natures in Turkey use the toolbox of environmental humanities to explore the main political, cultural and historical factors relating to the country’s socio-environmental problems. This leads not only to a better grounding of some of the historical and contemporary debates on the environment in Turkey, but also a deeper understanding of the multiplicity of framings around more-than-human interactions in the country in a time of authoritarian populism.

This book will be of interest not only to students of Turkey from a variety of social science and humanities disciplines but also contribute to the larger debates on environmental change and developmentalism in the context of a global populist turn.


"Transforming Socio-Natures in Turkey is a landmark text for understanding Turkey’s socio-environmental challenges. This interdisciplinary collection engages the reader in a growing understanding ofthe ecological costs of neoliberal authoritarianism in Turkey. Ultimately, the reader emerges with critical tools for building a new historical-geographical framework for environmental thought and practice."Anna J. Secor, Professor of Human Geography, Durham University, UK

"Smart, timely, incisive - this book is a wonderful collection representing some of the best new work from emerging scholars on issues of changing socio-natures, and environmental politics in contemporary Turkey. It is precisely the sort of book I would have loved to have had years ago, but at least its time has come."Leila M. Harris, Professor, Institute for Resources Environment and Sustainability and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, University of British Columbia, Canada

"Spanning the whole Republican era and a wide range of environmental issues, this book fills a lacuna in studies of Turkey. It provides the reader with a unique vantage point for understanding the trajectories of and contemporary consequences of the vast economic, demographic and political transformations in the country." Ståle Knudsen, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway

Table of Contents

1. Socio-Natures on The Edge: Landscapes, State and Movements in Turkey Ethemcan Turhan and Onur İnal

Part I Landscapes on the Edge

2. The Soils of Turkey: Nature, Science, and Crisis (1930-1960) Seçil Binboğa

3. A Technopolitical Frontier: The Keban Dam Project and Southeastern Anatolia Dale J. Stahl

4. From Imperial Frontier to National Heartland: Environmental History of Turkey’s Nation-Building in Its European Province of Thrace, 1920-1940 Eda Acara

Part II State and Capital on the Edge

5. Security, Dispossession, and Industrial Meat Production in Turkey Sezai Ozan Zeybek

6. Sediment in Reservoirs: A History of Dams and Forestry in Turkey Ekin Kurtiç

7. Informalization of Waste Regimes: The Entanglement of Urbanization, Poverty and Waste in Ankara Gül Tuçaltan

Part III Movements on the Edge

8. Contextualizing the Rise of Environmental Movements in Turkey: Two Instances of Anti-Gold Mining Resistance Zehra Taşdemir Yaşın

9. Coal, Ash, and Other Tales: The Making and Remaking of the Anti-Coal Movement in Aliağa, Turkey Ethemcan Turhan, Begüm Özkaynak, Cem İskender Aydın

10. Moving Stills: The Idea of Nature in New Turkish Cinema Ekin Gündüz Özdemirci

Epilogue Üstün Bilgen-Reinart

About the Editors

Onur Inal is a researcher based in the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of Vienna, Austria.

Ethemcan Turhan is a researcher based in the Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Sweden.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (, to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Middle East / Turkey & Ottoman Empire
NATURE / Ecology
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies