Issue 2 – City and Capitalism

Editor: Sevilay Kaygalak

H. Tank Şengül

Main objective of this paper is to analyse the relationship between class formation process and the urban experience under capitalism The class is viewed something fought for rather than pre-given. In this sense it is argued that class formation process involves both work and off work experience. Although it is agreed with the view that urban experience creates new locus of consciousness which might undermine class based consciousness, it is argued that without dealing with this complexity, it is not possible to organise the working class around a project which would challenge capitalism. The paper concludes that dealing with such a complexity is only possible through political organisations which can allow working people to go beyond their local experience.

Keywords: Class Struggle, Urban Space, Experience, Consciousness, Political Organisations.

Melih Ersoy

The cities in capitalist world have undergone a tremendous transformation during the last two decades. Many cities, which were once the leading industrial centres, experience de-industrialisation. The paper discusses the economic, social, spatial and psychological consequences of the de-industrialisation process and argues that cost of de-industrialisation goes far beyond economic costs. These costs are discussed with reference to certain case studies which were carried out in different cities of advance capitalist countries. Zonguldak experience is also referred in order to show the consequences of neo -liberal policies on the cities in Turkey.

Keywords: De-Industrialisation, City, Neo-liberalism, Zonguldak, Turkey.

Faruk Ataay

In this article, the effects of the transformations in the Turkish and World Economy in the last twenty years are investigated. The article tries to show that the processes of the restructuring of capital have the key role in the analysis of the transformation of system of settlement as well making use of concrete analysis that depends on quantitative data. The conclusion is that the periods in which opening up and liberalisation policies are dominant, are followed by widening of the in which opening up and liberalisation policies are dominant, are followed by widening of the interregional unequalities. The article shows that the main development poles of Turkish economy are Marmara and Ege Regions; and that the proviences named as “new industry foci” do not have a significant share in industry yet.

Keywords: Spatial Transformation, Turkey Capitalism, World Economy, Liberalisation, Unequality.

A. Ekber Doğan

Globalisation is one of the most used concepts ın the evaluation of the
dominant economic and political trends of the contemporary world. Instead of this term, I prefer conceptualising that reality as “the new mode of the internationalisation of Capital, or as imperialist globalisation project”. It is a part of the neo-liberal re-structuring process which started after the big economical crisis of 1973s. In this article, first of alI established a framework of the relationship between capitalism and cities. And then, I tried to analyse the changes in the cities, came to agenda at the 1933s with neo-liberal re-structuring process. Following this section, in the title of “Cities as the Second Address of Leaving from Production or Urbanisation of Capital in Turkey”, the reflections of these ongoing changes on the urbanisation process of Turkey are examined. During last twenty years, the developments in Turkey’s cities have also been affected by the change of the flow of capital. Capital accumulation has been shifted from first cycle to second cycle. After the I953s city became an important area of Capital accumulation for Turkey’s big bourgeoisie. That development is called “the urbanisation of Capital” and it has been experienced consistent with world scale changes. In this framework, we have been listed the ongoing developments in the economic, demographic and administrative structure of cities and their socio-spatial effects between 1980 and 2000.

Keywords: Turkey, Urbanisation, Neo-liberalism, Capital Accumulation, Globalisation.

Sevilay Kaygalak

This article composed of one theoretical and one empirical part examines the relationship between migration and new urban poverty. In theoretical part, the interactıve relation between the phenomena of migration and new urban poverty and its spatial concentration on urban space are discussed. The second part depends on an empirical research which ıs conducted ın Demirtaş district of Mersin. This area is inhibited by urban population belonging to working class and partly
middle classes. Most of them are mıgrants coming from different geo –
graphıcal parts of Turkey in different periods. The people who are subject to forced migration throughout 1990s are also contained by this population.

The results of survey indicated that world scale economic re-structuring process which were put forward as the solutions to economic crisis of the 1970s has worsened the living conditions of that population by increasing the economic and social inequalities. These inequalities have been accelerated by special concentration of poverty. The results  also revealed that internal forced migration intensively experienced in major cities of Turkey during 1990s was also an important dynamic feeding the economic and social polarisation and spatial deprivation in the district of Demirtaş.

Keywords: Poverty, Migration, Economic and Social Polarisation, Mersin, Demirtaş District.

Emre Arslan

As refined and qualified versions of race, ethnocentrism and ghetto, the concepts ethnicity, multiculturalism and diaspora provide, in different ways, some impressive arguments for the globalisation ideology. The intensification of these kinds of rhetoric vvithin the globalisation ideology has close relations with the phenomenon so -called immigrant problem. In Western capitalist societies, the account of immigrants as a problem not only by right-wing parties but also by centre-left and Green parties springs from the anomaly situation of immigrants with the rhetoric of free labour and bourgeois legal norms (right to vote, right to travel freely etc). The immigrants can not commodify their labour power as Citizen workers. Throughout the process of capitalist modes of production, especially in its primitive accumulation phase, bourgeois classes had to recourse unfree labour such as slave, convict, coolie labours, labour tenancy and contractual migrant labour. However, the use of unfree labour should not be discerned as functional and essential to every moment of capitalist system. In general, capitalism requires free labour and its ideological extensions. Therefore, the anomaly standing of unfree labour within the precedence of capitalist free labour relations and rhetoric must be explained and structural or institutional racism is the principal mechanism, which explains this anomaly predicament in other words, such an anomaly or irregularity have had to be normalised, legitimised by employing manifold vehicles, including scientific explanation. In the case of immigrant workers, notions such as ethnicity, cultural rights and difference used by both Rightist and some Leftist approaches can be conceived as channels for racialisation, if not institutional racism, In order to challenge such sort of racialisation, should avoid taking these concepts as his/her units of analysis a should locate them in a broader context, that is international migration and institutional racism as relations of production. Regarding international migration and racism as relations of production implies that they are mediatory and contradictory forms but not reflections, productions or consequences of capitalist system. In other words, they are not steadily functional to capitalist order. Instead, they have historical and mediated relations with capitalist modes of production.

Keywords: International Migration, Racialisation, Etnicity, Multi-culturalism, Diaspora.

Yüksel Akkaya

Related to the process of establishment of municipalities towards the
end of the 19th century a worker movement in this field had also started to be formed. The efforts for organization which were born as aid associations in this period evolved to be more centralised in the following years. And since the law allowed organization of unions merely at the trade level after 1980, today, municipality workers are organized at the trade level under confederations representing diverse political views. The municipality workers, who have realized their first strike by the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, have become the most activist fraction of the Turkish workers. This process, even though having been interrupted by the prohibition of strikes by the laws and regulations of the post-1980 period, has started to gain its previous position with the removal of prohibition. The grounds for the actions of workers who, before 1980, reacted against the problems associated with working life, have changed because of the privatization and subcontracting efforts of 1980s. Municipality workers, however, could not have been able to generate a reactionary movement regarding social interests, even though their actions are directly related to the city life and public and thus produce considerable opportunities for the class movement in general. This, in turn, has created considerable handicaps for all the municipality workers, labourers living in the city, and poors of the city.

Keywords: Municipality, Worker Movements, Worker Organisations, Privatisation, City.