Issue 12 – Political Parties in Turkey

Editors: Ali Ekber Doğan (Coordinator), E. Atilla Aytekin, Mustafa Bayram Mısır, Mustafa Şener, Sevilay Kaygalak

The Impacts of the Transformation of Liberal Democracy on Political Parties in the Neoliberal Age
Nazım Güveloğlu

In the recent decades. parallel to the increasing predominance of neolıberalism throughout the world, there have been significant changes in the relations between the economic and political realms. The neoliberal principle of “preserving economic issues from the impacts of politics” has established the grounds for restructuring the form of the capitalist State, Beside other issues. these changes have bom implications on democracy as a form of regime, as well. Thıs paper deals with such implications within a framework that considers the internal relations between the economic and political realms. Although some divergences occur in specific cases since economic and political orientations in many cases have been almost homogenised. the scope of the discussions held hereby is directed to a general tendency relevant to the whole of the capitalist world. A significantly emphasised point is that the changes regarding democracy are not contingent but closely associated with the characteristics and the extents that the dominance of capital has today. Therefore. the changing face of democracy is referred to within a framework building upon the concept of “radicalisation of bourgeois democracy”. The main concern of the paper is analysing and forecasting the impacts of this radicalisation process on political parties both today and ın the foreseeable future.

Keywords: liberal democracy, boyrgeois democracy, neoliberalism, capitalist state, political parties.

Post – 1980 Politics in Turkey and Young Party
Mert Angılı

The stunning pace of the rise and fall of Youth Party (YT ) in Turkish political arena in the recent past is the main subject of this study. In order to understand the topic firmly, a brief assessment of post-1980 politics in Turkey is also performed. This analysis provides a basis for the foundation of the YP in the sense that it is a story of change in the style of politics among other things. Broadly, throughout the article, it is argued that YP is an extreme form of new style of politics within the framework of neoliberalism. The depiction of this point is mainly done through the use of the concept of economic rationality as the fundamental driving motive behind the politics of YP. Thus, the story of the rise and fail of NP is told with reference to this mentality Finally, a very short section about the aftermath of YP is also included to demonstrate some preliminary outcomes as well as to trigger a discussion of contemporary political panorama.

Keywords: Young Party, Turkish politics, Cem Uzan, neoliberalism, economic rationality.

The “Third Way” of the Justice and Development
Duygu Türk

This paper argues that the Third Way can be thought as a key to elaborate the current atmosphere of Turkish politics. The Third Way has claimed to make ‘revival’ of social democracy possible. İn this sense, it is interesting that a party which has a religious based background can also adapt itself to the Third Way rhetoric, as it is proposed in this paper. Therefore, it is asserted that the Third Way practice in Turkey, as far as it is embodied in the Justice and Development Party, can also be thought as a key to elaborate the Third Way itself.

Keywords: Justice and Development Party, Third Way, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish politics, neoliberalism.

Islamist and Fascist Movements of Turkey in 1970s: Promises and Results
Burak Gürel

This paper aims at analyzing the mass support for the Islamist and fascist movements in Turkey, which established themselves as independent political actors in the 1970s. It proposes that both movements were formed as a result of the rapid development of capitalist modernization in Central and eastern parts of Anatolia after the 1950s. To explain why these two movements derived a considerable mass support in the 1970s, this study explores the politics these actors employed in order to overcome the problems caused by the process of capitalist modernization. This article argues that both of these two actors gained strength in parallel to the process whereby search for alternatives emerged among the sections of the population that lived in Central and eastern Anatolia, and were bothered by the cultural modernization and economic expropriation of the capitalist modernization. Both the Islamist National Salvation Party and the fascist Nationalist Action Party produced a pseudo anti-capitalist and antimodernist discourse in order to respond to the emerging need for alternatives.
The underlying difference between these two political actors laid essentially in their political programs which stemmed from the differentiation of their class bases in the process, their strategies to seize power and organizational structures designed in accordance with these strategies.

Keywords: Islamism, fascism, Turkish politics, Nationalist Action Party, National Salvation Party.

From social democratic promises to neo-liberal revanchism: Policies of Ankara Greater Municipality in 1990s
A. Ekber Doğan

The 1990s opened with the rise of working class movement and a new breath in leftist politics. Yet the decade ended with the empowerment of nationalist and Islamist movements. This transformation occurred under the effect of two important developments in the political sphere. While political parties gradually became identical in terms of their stance in relation to neo-liberal politics, the focus of political struggle also dissociated itself from the economic issues and evolved around differences on social reproduction. This study addresses how these shifts emerged within the context of Ankara Greater Municipality. The city of Ankara, which has been the locus of the state’s project to represent the newlyborn nation-state, was governed by different political lines in 1990s: first under the Social Democrat People’s Party’s Murat Karayalçın, and later, under the Welfare Party’s Melih Gökçek. The Karayalçın period began with social democratic premises and policies but eventually ended up in project democracy and City management. The Gökçek period, on the other hand, is characterized with the dominance of revanchism against the cultural modernism of the preceding social democrat mayors of Ankara and an open hostility against organized labor.

Keywords: Ankara, Islamism, Turkish nationalism, neoliberalism, social democracy.

The Emergence of Urban Politics in Turkey and Urban Professionals as Social Actors (1965-1977)
Bülent Batuman

This article investigates the transformation of the urban conflict inherent to the urbanization in Turkey into “urban politics”. While the major dimension of this transformation consisted of the demands of the working classes in relation to the urban issues, the political representation of these demands also involved the agency of a group of “urban professionals”. This group of professionals included individuals from various disciplines related to planning and urbanism. A major portion of them were the members of a generation who were university students during the 1960 intervention, technocrats in State institutions during the 1960s, and finally were affiliated with the municipalities in the 1970s. They contributed to the transformation of the political representation of “the urban” not only as reformist technocrats but also as leftist intellectuals.

Keywords: urbanism, urban professionals, city planning, Turkish left, technocrats.

Marx’s Concept of Labour and the Flexibilisation of Work Conditions
Doğan Göçmen

This essay explores Marx’s concept of labour in the context of contemporary discussions about the flexibilisation of work conditions. It takes for granted that one of the most important debates in social and political Sciences and philosophy refers to the questions and problems of labour. The thesis that is being underpinned is that Marx’s concept of labour provides the most reliable concept just because it presents the highpoint of the development of the concept of labour in modern times. I present first the general aspects of Marx’s concept of labour: ontological, teleological and sociological. Particularly in relation to contemporary concepts of actions I emphasise the comprehensiveness of his concept of labour. Having done this I then turn to the examination of the historical aspects of his concept. I focus on his critique of value theory of labour, which he developed within the framework of his essential critique of political economv. And finally I explore the question whether Marx’s critıque of the value theory of labour is still
valid. The exploration of this question is important because since the mid of 1980s we face often claims which question the validity of his critique. I consider this daim particularly in relation to the discussıon on Fordism, Toyotism and flexibilisation of work conditions. I take thereby of course also into account proposals made by bourgeois sociologists and philosophers to solve the problems arising from unemployment and the reorganisation of the whole world of
production, I close my essay by concluding that in the face of deformations and alienations, arising particularly from value theoretical foundation of labour, there cannot he claimed that Marx’s critique of value theory of labour is no longer valid. As opposed to these kinds of claims I suggest that any attempt to overcome these deformations and alienations would end up in a failure, if it does not question the very logıc of the private ownership of the means of production.

Keywords: Marx, labor theory of value, critique of political economy, alienation, flexibilization of labor.