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Environmental Organizations in Turkey

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Environmental Organizations in Turkey: Engaging the State and Capital
Hande Paker, Bahçeşehir University
Fikret Adaman, Boğaziçi University
Zeynep Kadirbeyoğlu, Boğaziçi University
Begüm Özkaynak, Boğaziçi University
Draft of “Environmental Organisations in Turkey: Engaging the State and Capital” (with H. Paker, B.
Ozkaynak and F. Adaman), Environmental Politics, Vol 22. No.5. pp.760-778 (2013).

Corresponding author: hpaker@bahcesehir.edu.tr, hpaker@gmail.com
Bahçeşehir University, Department of Political Science and International Relations. Çırağan
Cad., 34353, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey
Abstract
Throughout the world, unfettered capitalism and the obsession with economic growth have led to
the destruction of many ecologically important sites, and generated sharp conflicts between the
state and civil society actors concerned to protect the environment. Some optimists about the role
of civil society actors gloss over the power dynamics in which they are embedded, and their
economic and political contexts. The roles civil society organizations (CSOs) can play are
contingent on the relations they are embedded in, which in turn are affected and transformed by
the dynamics of neoliberal globalization. A study of environmental CSOs in Turkey, focusing on
their institutional context, identifies two crucial dimensions that shape their contribution: their
interactions with the state and with financial donors.
Keywords: environmental organizations, civil society, Turkey
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of TUBITAK 1002 (Scientific and
Technical Research Council of Turkey), project 108K383. They also thank all the participants in
the research who generously contributed their time and expertise, and Barış Gençer Baykan for
his invaluable assistance throughout the research process. We are equally grateful to the editor as
well as the three anonymous reviewers whose comments much improved the text.

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