The “New Turkey”: Fetishizing Growth with Fatal Results

Zuhal Yeşilyurt Gündüz
Monthly Review
This article is part of a series Middle-East-4-Change is highlighting that look at the economic impact of imperialist globlisation on peripheral countries

2013_Taksim_Gezi_Park_protests_(15th_June)

Istanbul’s Gezi Park protest 2013

Turkey’s ruling party has turned the country, which it calls “the new Turkey,” into a capitalist nightmare: a triad of neoliberal economics, political despotism, and Islamist conservatism. This article provides an overview of neoliberalism in Turkey, then looks at the government’s extraction policies, highlighting the Soma mine massacre as one tragic example of the destructive policies of the governing party, the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP, Justice and Development Party). It also examines the extreme authoritarianism of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (formerly prime minister), and the growing cultural-relgious conservatism, which the AKP has interlaced with Islamist rhetoric. This hegemonic triad of neoliberalism, despotism, and conservatism is an especially dangerous one. However, it is being increasingly criticized, and resistance movements against neoliberal policies are growing. All of this gives some hope for Turkey’s future.

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