Aykut Tunç Kılıç / Populism, Sources of Rural Domination and Resistance in Turkey in the 1970s

An Abstract of the thesis of Aykut Tunç Kiliç for the degree of Master of Arts in the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History to be taken September 2004

Populism, Sources of Rural Domination and Resistance in Turkey in the 1970s

This study attempts to delineate what “populism” means for rural subjects in 1970s’ Turkey, especially after the 1974 world recession that has created immense social and economic turbulences in the so-called Third World countries. Investigating sources of domination and several rural resistance practices of petty commodity producers in various parts of the country usually led by socialist movements and parties, I try to argue that the distinctive character of the relationship between populism and development has characterized the short history after the Second World War. Identifying developmentalism as the chief legitimating function of ruling regimes and the most important “reason of state”, which conceals social inequalities and contentions, my main contention is to depict how the discourses of development have played a central role in shaping the evolution of these rural resistance practices at the local level. One of the most important ways in which discourses of development have affected the everyday lives of people in rural Turkey is through populist policies and programs. In this study, rather identifying populism as an elite preference to mobilize subaltern classes, we tried to illustrate it as a mode of reproduction both for ruling bloc and subaltern classes with reference to market relations.

Atatürk Ilkeleri ve Inkilâp Tarihi Enstitüsü’nde Yüksek Lisans derecesi için Aykut Tunç Kiliç tarafindan Eylül 2005’te teslim edilen tezin kisa özeti

1970’ler Türkiye’sinde Popülizm, Kirsal Tahakküm ve Direnis

Bu çalismanin amaci 1970’ler Türkiye’sinde, özellikle 1974 dünya ekonomik krizinden sonra, uygulamaya konan populist kirsal politikalarin toplumsal özneler için ne anlam ifade ettigini anlamaya çalismaktadir. Kirsal politikalarin yarattigi tahakküm biçimleri ve genel olarak sosyalist hareketler tarafindan yönlendirilen küçük üretici direnisleri incelenerek kalkinmacilik ile populist politikalar arasindaki özgül iliskinin niteligi ele alinmistir. Kalkinma ideolojisinin Ikinci Dünya Savasi’ndan sonra toplumsal esitsizlikleri ve çeliskileri gizledigi ve iktidardaki rejimlerin en önemli mesruiyet kaynagi oldugu varsayimdan hareketle yerel düzeydeki direnislerin ortaya çikisinda kalkinma söyleminin nasil merkezi bir rol üstlendigi arastirilmistir. Bu söylemin kirsal kesimde yasayan insanlarin gündelik yasamlarini en etkili olarak populist politikalar ve programlarla sekillendirdigi belirtilmistir. Son olarak popülizm madun siniflarin elitler tarafindan mobilize edildigi bir strateji olmaktan çok, iktidar blogu ve madun siniflarin piyasa iliskileri araciligiyla kendilerini yeniden üretmelerinin bir biçimi olarak kavramsallastirilmistir.