1st Edition

Transforming Socio-Natures in Turkey
Landscapes, State and Environmental Movements

ISBN 9781138367692
Published July 10, 2019 by Routledge
226 Pages - 8 B/W Illustrations

USD $155.00

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Book Description

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.

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

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Onur İnal 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.


"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 of the 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

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Open Access Content

  • Chapter 9 (.pdf) Coal, Ash, and Other Tales: The Making and Remaking of the Anti-Coal Movement in Aliağa, Turkey

    Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CCBY-NC-ND) license