Burcu Çıngay / Automobility in Turkey: A Critical Evaluation of Turkish Automobile Production in the 1960s and the 1970s

An abstract of the thesis of Burcu Çingay for the degree of Master of Arts from The Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History to be taken September 2008

Automobility in Turkey: A Critical Evaluation of Turkish Automobile Production in the 1960s and the 1970s

This thesis evaluates the diffusion of automobility as a system in terms of its economic, social and cultural aspects during the 1960s and the 1970s in the Turkish context. Turkey adapted to global domination character of automobility starting in the 1950s. The rapid enhancement of automobility boosted the demand for and interest in personal automobiles, which resulted in a serious foreign exchange crisis in the end of the 1950s. To deal with the problem, Turkey applied different measures
until the transfer of mass production through joint ventures with foreign automobile firms. Hence, the solution of the problem permanently tied Turkey to global production and consumption relations as well as the system of automobility.

This thesis analyzes the diffusion of automobility from a perspective that combines the transformations of the economy and society in line with the changes in the daily life culture. The diffusion of automobility in the Turkish context was accelerated by two mutually exclusive factors. The first one was the decision to transfer the carbuilding technologies into the country and establishing the automobile industry for mass-production. And the second one was the changes in the public perception concerning automobility which directly affects the market formation and consumption patterns of the middle classes. These reasons are taken into account to underscore the formation and the development of the capitalist production and consumption patterns during the import substitution era, which is denoted as the preparatory background of the recent global integration.

Bogaziçi Üniversitesi Atatürk Ilkeleri ve Inkilap Tarihi Enstitüsü’nde Yüksek Lisans Derecesi için Burcu Çingay tarafindan Eylül 2008’de teslim edilen tezin kisa özeti

Türkiye’de Otomobilli Hayata Geçis: 1960’li ve 1970’li yillarda Türkiye’de Otomobil Üretiminin Elestirel Degerlendirilmesi

Bu çalisma, 1960’li ve 1970’li yillarda otomobillesmenin (automobility) yayisilisini bu yayilisin ekonomik, sosyal ve kültürel yönlerini dikkate alarak Türkiye baglaminda degerlendirir. Türkiye 1950’li yillardan baslayarak otomobillesmenin küresel nüfuz etme hakimiyetine uyum saglamistir. Hizli otomobillesme ile otomobil talebinin ve otomobile olan ilgininin asiri artmasi 1950’lerin sonunda ciddi bir döviz krizine sebep olmustur. Bu sorunun çözümü için Türkiye, yabanci firmalarla ortakliklar sonucu otomobil üretiminin ülke içine transferine kadar, degisik çözüm yollari denemistir. Sonuç olarak, seri üretim karari ile sorunun çözümü, Türkiye’nin otomobillesmis sisteme oldugu kadar küresel üretim ve tüketim iliskilerine de entegre olmasina neden olmustur.

Bu çalisma, otomobillesmenin yayilmasini, sosyo-ekonomik dönüsümleri gündelik yasam kültüründe degisikliklerle birlestiren bir perspektiften inceleme yöntemini kullanmistir. Türkiye baglaminda otomobilli hayatin yayilmasini hizlandiran iki etmen vardir. Bu etmenlerden birincisi, ülke içine otomobil-üretim teknolojilerini transfer etme karari ve akabinde ülkede seri-üretim yapabilecek otomobil sanayinin kurulmasidir. Ikinci etmen ise pazar olusumunu ve orta siniflarin tüketim aliskanliklarini dogrudan etkileyen, otomobillesme ile ilgili kamuoyu algisindaki degisikliklerdir. Bu etmenler isiginda Türkiye’de otomobillesme incelendiginde, ithal ikameci dönemde, kapitalist üretim ve tüketim kaliplarinin olusumu ve gelisimi günümüz global dönüsümünün arka plani olarak ifade edilmistir.