A Feminist Analysis of Security in Turkey

Neoliberal Patriarchy, Authoritarianism, and Package Politics

  • Simten Cosar University of Pittsburgh
  • Gulden Ozcan University of Lethbridge
Keywords: AKP, feminist security studies, national security, social security, Turkey

Abstract

This article analyzes the securitization of the political space under the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party, AKP) governments in Turkey with a critical feminist lens. We argue that a feminist reading unpacks the connection between AKP’s discursive strategies in the spheres of social and national security. We focus on the AKP’s proposals that address social policy and defense policy spheres—namely, the “Women’s Employment Package;” “Family Package;” and “Internal Security Package.” In our analysis, we start from the argument that the AKP’s terms in office represent the last phase of neoliberal transformation in the country. Packages in this phase also speak to the patchwork style of neoliberal policy making. They function as means for checking, and then, manipulating public opinion. Analysis of the packages provides insight into the AKP’s increasing resort to violence vis-á-vis opposition as well as the deepening of the economic crisis in the country in the last two decades.

Author Biographies

Simten Cosar, University of Pittsburgh

Simten Coşar, Professor

Visiting Instructor, Global Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Coşar is the co-editor of Universities in the Neoliberal Era: Academic Cultures and Critical Perspectives (2017) and of Silent Violence: Neoliberalism, Islamist Politics and the AKP Years in Turkey (2012). Her articles in English are published in Monthly Review, Feminist Review, South European Society and Politics, Journal of Political Ideologies, Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Journal of Third World Studies, Alternate Routes, and Contemporary Politics.

 

Gulden Ozcan, University of Lethbridge

Gülden Özcan, Assistant Professor

Department of Sociology, University of Lethbridge, AB, Canada

Özcan co-edited A General Police System: Political Economy and Security in the Age of Enlightenment (2009) and Capitalism and Confrontation: Critical Readings (2012). She contributed to Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research, Moment: Journal of Cultural Studies, Kampfplatz, and The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Globalization. Her commentaries appeared in The Bullet (Socialist Project, E-Bulletin).

References

Ahmad, Feroz. 1999. Modern Türkiye’nin Oluşumu. İstanbul: Kaynak Yayınları.

Akgökçe, Necla. 2015. “Hükümetin Kadın Istihdamını Artırma Paketleri: Girişimci Olmayan Hayat Yok Gibi.” Petrol-İş Kadın Dergisi 51. Retrieved October 13, 2017 (https://www.petrol-is.org.tr/kadindergisi/sayi51/istihdam.htm).

Akkan, Başak. 2018. “The Politics of Care in Turkey: Sacred Familialism in a Changing Political Context.” Social Politics 25(1): 72-91.

Amnesty International. 2015. Kobani Protests in Turkey: Human Rights Failures. Retrieved July 4, 2018 (https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/EUR4420172015ENGLISH.pdf).

Aradau, Claudia, Luis Lobo-Guerrero, and Rens V. Munster. 2008. “Security, Technologies of Risk, and the Political: Guest Editors’ Introduction.” Security Dialogue 39(2-3): 147-154.

Aradau, Claudia, Jef Huysmans, Andrew Neal, and Nadine Voelkner. 2014. “Discourse/materiality.” Pp. 57-84 in Critical Security Methods: New Frameworks for Analysis, edited by Claudia Aradau, Jef Huysmans, Andrew Neal, and Nadine Voelkner. New York: Routledge.

Arat, Yeşim. 2000. “Gender and Citizenship in Turkey.” Pp. 275-286 in Gender and Citizenship in the Middle East, edited by Suad Joseph. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press.

Arendt, Hannah. 1998. The Human Condition. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Arslan, Ayşe. 2020. “Labor Informality, Patriarchal Gender Regimes and Neoliberalism in Turkey.” Pp. 161-184 in Handbook on Gender in Asia, edited by Shirlena Huang and Kanchana N. Ruwanpura. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Åhäll, Linda. 2016. “The Dance of Militarization: A Feminist Security Studies Take on ‘the Political’.” Critical Studies on Security 4(2): 154-168.

Balseven, Hale and Izzettin Önder. 2009. “Türkiye’de Kamu Kesiminde Neoliberal Dönüşüm.” Pp. 77-128 in Küreselleşme, Kriz ve Türkiye’de Neoliberal Dönüşüm, edited by Nergis Mütevellioğlu and Sinan Sönmez. İstanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları.

Bayramoğlu, Ali. 2004. “Asker ve Siyaset.” Pp. 59-118 in Bir Zümre, Bir Parti: Türkiye’de Ordu, edited by Ahment İnsel and Ali Bayramoğlu. Ankara: Birikim Yayınları.

BBC. 2014. “Kurds Protest across Europe against Inaction in Kobane.” October 8. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-29530268/kurds-protest-across-europe-against-inaction-in-kobane).

______. 2015. “İstanbul’da Onur Yürüyüşü’ne Polis Müdahalesi.” June 28. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (https://www.bbc.com/turkce/haberler/2015/06/150628_istanbul_onur_yuruyusu).

Bingham, Adrian. 2004. “‘An Era of Domesticity’? Histories of Women and Gender in Interwar Britain.” Cultural and Social History 1(2): 225-233.

Birgün. 2018. “Vakıflar Kralı Bilal Erdoğan.” May 15. Retrieved August 5, 2018 (https://www.birgun.net/haber-detay/vakiflar-krali-bilal-erdogan-215958.html).

Blackburn, Sheila. 1995. “How Useful are Feminist Theories of the Welfare State?” Women’s History Review 4(3): 369-394.

Buğra, Ayşe. 2014. “Revisiting the Wollstonecraft Dilemma in the Context of Conservative Liberalism: The Case of Female Employment in Turkey. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society (21)1: 148-166.

______. 2016. Kapitalizm, Yoksulluk ve Türkiye’de Sosyal, Eighth Edition. İstanbul: İletişim.

______. 2020. “Politics of Social Policy in a Late Industrializing Country: The Case of Turkey.” Development and Change 51(2): 442-462.

Chan, Wendy and George S. Rigakos. 2002. “Risk, Crime and Gender.” The British Journal of Criminology 42(4): 743-761.

Cockburn, Cynthia. 2004. “The Continuum of Violence: A Gender Perspective on War and Peace.” Pp. 24-44 in Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones, edited by Wenona Giles and Jennifer Hyndman. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Corrigan, Phillip and Derek Sayer. 1985. The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural Revolution. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Coşar, Simten. 2012. “The AKP’s Hold on Power: Neoliberalism Meets the Turkish-Islamic Synthesis.” Pp. 67-92 in Silent Violence: Neoliberalism, Islamist Politics and the AKP Years in Turkey, edited by Simten Coşar and Gamze Yücesan-Özdemir. Ottawa: RQB.

______. 2021. “Regime Change in Turkey: Old Symbols into New Settings.” Regime Change in Turkey: Neoliberal Authoritarianism, Islamism and Hegemony, edited by Errol Babacan, Melahat Kutun, Ezgi Pınar, and Zafer Yılmaz. London and New York: Routledge.

Coşar, Simten and Inci Özkan-Kerestecioğlu. 2017. “Feminist Politics in Contemporary Turkey: Neoliberal Attacks, Feminist Claims to the Public.” Journal of Women, Politics & Policy 38(2): 151-174.

Cumhuriyet. 2015. “Ekmek Almaya Giden Çocuğu Polisten Kim Koruyacak.” Cumhuriyet, February 20. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/217997/Celik_e_can_alici_soru__Ekmek_almaya_giden_cocugu_polisten_kim_koruyacak.html).

Çelik, Aziz. 2015. “Turkey’s New Labor Regime under the Justice and Development Party in the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century: Authoritarian Flexibilization.” Middle Eastern Studies 51(4): 618-635.

Çerkezoğlu, Arzu. 2019. “Özetle Türkiye’de Kadın Istihdamının Görünümü.” İşveren Dergisi 57(2): 17-18. Retrieved October 3, 2020 (https://www.tisk.org.tr/yayin/1359523609-isveren-dergisi--mart-nisan--2019-.pdf).

DemokratHaber. 2017. “CHP’nin Yürüyüşü Öncesi Yollar Kapatıldı.” June 15. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (https://www.demokrathaber.org/siyaset/chp-nin-yuruyusu-oncesi-yollar-kapatildi-h85444.html).

Donaghy, Ryan J. 2017. “Pedagogies of Neopatriarchy: Critical Reflections on Occupational Courses and Women’s Economic Mobility in Turkey.” Women’s Studies International Forum 61: 28-37.

Eisenstein, Zillah. 1999. “Constructing a Theory of Capitalist Patriarchy and Socialist Feminism.” Critical Sociology 25(2-3): 196-217.

Enloe, Cynthia. 2016. Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

GazeteEmek. 2018. YSK’ya Çıkan Bütün Yollar Kapatıldı. Retrieved June 24, 2018 (https://www.gazeteemek.net/gundem/ysk-ya-cikan-butun-yollar-kapatildi-h4341.html).

Hannah-Moffat, Kelly. 1999. “Moral Agent or Actuarial Subject: Risk and Canadian Women’s Imprisonment.” Theoretical Criminology 3(1): 71-94.

Haraway, Donna. 1988. “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective.” Feminist Studies 14(3): 575-599.

Harvey, David. 2005. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Haspolat, Evren. 2012. Neoliberalizm ve Baskı Aygıtının Dönüşümü: Türkiye’de Özel Güvenliğin Gelişimi. Ankara: NotaBene Yayınları.

Hudson, Heidi. 2005. “‘Doing’ Security as though Humans Matter: A Feminist Perspective on Gender and the Politics of Human Security.” Security Dialogue 36(2): 155-174.

Hunt, Alan. 1996. “The Governance of Consumption: Sumptuary Laws and Shifting Forms of Regulation.” Economy and Society 25(3): 410-427.

Hürriyet. 2015a. “63 Madde Tamamen Geri Çekildi.” March 20. Retrieved August 10, 2018 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/63-madde-tamamen-geri-cekildi-28502591).

______. 2015b. “Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan Valiler Toplantısında Konuştu.” February 28. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/cumhurbaskani-erdogan-valiler-toplantisinda-konustu-28314866).

______. 2015c. “İnadına Mini Etek Desinler.” February 26. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/inadina-mini-etek-desinler-28299229).

______. 2015d. “Muhalefetin Değil Vatandaşın Memnuniyetini Esas Aldık.” February 21. Retrieved September 4, 2017 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/muhalefetin-degil-vatandasin-memnuniyetini-esas-aldik-28258489).

______. 2015e. “AK Parti Giresun Il Kongresi.” February 14. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/ak-parti-giresun-il-kongresi-37055963).

______. 2015f. “Son 6 Senede 6 bin 500’e Yakın Araç Molotofla Yakıldı.” February 14. Retrieved September 2, 2017 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/bakan-bozkir-son-6-senede-6-bin-500-e-yakin-arac-molotofla-yakildi-28201823).

______. 2015g. “Molotof Alırsan Cevabını Alırsın.” February 2. Retrieved September 4, 2017 (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/molotof-alirsan-cevabini-alirsin-28124728).

Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu. 2020. “Veriler.” Retrieved July 17, 2020 (http://kadincinayetlerinidurduracagiz.net/kategori/veriler).

Karaca, Sevda. 2016. “Özel Istihdam Büroları Gerçeği: Kadın Işsizliği Bahane, Işçi Simsarlığı Şahane! Handan Çağlayan’la Söylesi.” Evrensel, February 14. Retrieved August 12, 2018 (http://www.keig.org/?p=1846).

Kaygısız, Irfan. 2014. “2014 Ocak-Haziran Dönemi Işçi Sınıfı Eylemleri Üzerine Değerlendirme.” DİSK-AR 3: 108-115. Retrieved October 10, 2018 (http://disk.org.tr/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/DiSK-AR_03.SAYI_.pdf).

KEİG Platformu. 2015. Özel İstihdam Büroları ve Bürolar Aracılığıyla Geçici İş İlişkisi: Kadın İstihdamı İçin Çözüm mü, Güvencesiz Esneklik İçin Tuzak mı? İstanbul: Kayhan Matbaası.

Kessler, Oliver and Wouter Werner. 2008. “Extrajudicial Killing as Risk Management.” Security Dialogue 39(2-3): 289-308.

Kılıç, Azer. 2008. “The Gender Dimension of Social Policy Reform in Turkey: Towards Equal Citizenship.” Social Policy & Administration 42(5): 487-503.

Koray, Meryem. 2000. Sosyal Politika. Bursa: Ezgi Kitabevi Yayınları.

Lazzarato, Maurizio. 2009. “Neoliberalism in Action: Inequality, Insecurity and the Reconstitution of the Social.” Theory, Culture and Society 26(6): 109-133.

Lewis, Jane. 1994. “Gender, the Family and Women’s Agency in the Building of States: The British Case.” Social History 19(1): 37-55.

______. 2002. “Gender and Welfare State Change.” European Societies 4(4): 331-357.

Mabee, Bryan and Srdjan Vucetic. 2018. “Varieties of Militarism: Towards a Typology.” Security Dialogue 49(1-2): 96-108.

Marshall, T. H. 1987. Citizenship and Social Class. London: Pluto Press.

Memurlar.net. 2015. “Davutoğlu Aile ve Nüfusun Korunması Programını Açıkladı.” January 8. Retrieved October 22, 2015 (https://www.memurlar.net/haber/496541/davutoglu-aile-ve-nufusun-korunmasi-programini-acikladi-video.html).

Moghadam, Val. 1991. “The Neopatriarchal State in the Middle East: Development, Authoritarianism and Crisis.” Socialism and Democracy 7(91): 125-140.

Neocleous, Mark. 2000. The Fabrication of Social Order: A Critical Theory of Police Power. London: Pluto Press.

______. 2006. “From Social to National Security: On the Fabrication of Economic Order.” Security Dialogue 37(3): 363-384.

______. 2016. The Universal Adversary: Security, Capital and ‘The Enemies of All Mankind’. New York: Routledge.

OECD.Stat. 2020. “Employment: Full-time Equivalent Employment Rate, by Sex.” Retrieved, October 3, 2020 (https://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?queryid=54749).

Oğuz, Senem. 2020. “İşgücü Anketlerinden Türkiye’de Ücretli-Ücretsiz Kadın Emeği Üzerine Gözlemler: 2008 Krizinin Etkileri.” Praksis 52: 35-68.

Özcan, Gülden. 2019. “TEKEL Resistance in Turkey: The Making of the Proletarian Public Sphere.” Pp. 48-70 in Contemporary Left-Wing Activism Vol 1: Democracy, Participation and Dissent in a Global Context, edited by John M. Roberts and Joseph Ibrahim. New York: Routledge.

Rigakos, George S. 2011. “To Extend the Scope of Productive Labor: Pacification as a Police Project.” Pp. 57-83 in Anti-security, edited by Mark Neocleous and George S. Rigakos. Ottawa: RQB.

Saad-Filho, Alfred. 2010. “Crisis in Neoliberalism or Crisis of Neoliberalism?” Pp. 242-259 in Socialist Register 2011: The Crisis This Time, edited by Leo Panitch, Greg Albo, and Vivek Chibber. Winnipeg: Fernwood.

Sharabi, Hisham. 1988. Neopatriarchy: A Theory of Distorted Change in Arab Society. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sirman, Nukhet. 2005. “The Making of Familial Citizenship in Turkey.” Pp. 147-172 in Citizenship in a Global World: European Questions, Turkish Experiences, edited by E. Fuat Keyman and Ahmet İçduygu. London and New York: Routledge.

T24. 2015. “AKP Iç Güvenlik Paketini 'Özgürlükleri Koruma Paketi' Olarak Isimlendirdi.” Retrieved August 5, 2020 (https://t24.com.tr/haber/akp-ic-guvenlik-paketini-ozgurlukleri-koruma-paketi-olarak-isimlendirdi,287547).

Talas, Cahit. 1992. Türkiye’nin Açıklamalı Sosyal Politika Tarihi. Ankara: Bilgi Yayınevi.

Toksöz, Gülay. 2012. “The State of Female Labor in the Impasse of Neoliberal Market and Patriarchal Family.” Pp. 47-64 in Gender and Society in Turkey: The Impact of Neoliberal Policies, Political Islam and EU Accession, edited by Saniye Dedeoğlu and Adem Y. Elveren. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

______. 2015. “Yeni Aile Nüfus Yasasının Amacı Doğurganlığı Artırmak.” February 6. Retrieved October 22, 2015 (http://www.keig.org/?p=1807).

______. 2016. “Transition from “Woman” to “Family”: An Analysis of AKP Era Employment Policies from a Gender Perspective.” Journal for Entwicklungspolitik 32: 1-2.

Vitale, Alex S. 2017. The End of Policing. London and New York: Verso.

Vosko, Leah F. 2006. “Precarious Employment: Towards an Improved Understanding of Labor Market Insecurity.” Pp. 3-15 in Precarious Employment: Understanding Labor Market Insecurity in Canada, edited by Leah F. Vosko. Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Wibben, Annick T. R. 2018. “Why We Need to Study (US) Militarism: A Critical Feminist Lens.” Security Dialogue 49(1-2): 136–148.

Yalman, Galip. 2002. “The Turkish State and Bourgeoisie in Historical Perspective: A Relativist Paradigm or a Panoply of Hegemonic Strategies?” Pp. 21-54 in The Politics of Permanent Crisis: Class, Ideology and State in Turkey, edited by Nesecan Balkan and Sungur Savran. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Yeniçağ. 2017. “Erdoğan: ‘OHAL’den Istifade Ederek Anında Müdahale Ediyoruz.’” Retrieved August 28, 2020 (https://www.yenicaggazetesi.com.tr/erdogan-ohalden-istifade-ederek-aninda-mudahale-ediyoruz-2097v.htm).

Yentürk, Nurhan. 2018. Sosyal Yardımlardan Güvenliğe Türkiye’nin Kamu Harcamaları (2006-2017). Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi Universitesi Yayinlari.

Published
2021-03-20
How to Cite
Cosar, S., & Ozcan, G. (2021). A Feminist Analysis of Security in Turkey: Neoliberal Patriarchy, Authoritarianism, and Package Politics . Journal of World-Systems Research, 27(1), 35-57. https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.2021.1034
Section
Capitalist World-Economy in Crisis: Policing, Pacification, and Legitimacy