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Culture of everyday politics - politics of everyday culture: an inquiry into municipal politics in Konya and Eskişehir
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 10:42 authored by Charlotte Keskin-Joppien
In this thesis I compare municipal politics in Konya and Eskişehir in AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, Justice and Development Party) and CHP-led (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, Republican People's Party) municipalities. The main fields of research are mayoral biographies, municipal practice, in particular with regard to welfare and service provision, the cooperation with other municipal actors as political parties or civil society organisations, urban planning activities and cultural policy. I am particulary interested in how municipal political actors respond to different local contexts in the two cities, given the fact that Eskişehir is characterized as 'modern', unlike Konya which is said to be 'religiously-conservative' by many in Turkey. I argue that one reason of the national success of the AKP is its ability to adapt to divergent local contexts. To this end I explore whether the AKP is part of a muhafazakar belediyecilik (conservative municipalism) tradition founded by the RP (Refah Partisi, Welfare Party). Secondly, I analyse how in return also municipalities try to shape local contexts according to their political background by their municipal practice, urban planning activities and cultural policy. My research contributes to a growing but selective body of literature on municipal practice and local politics in Turkey. Most of this literature deals with Istanbul. This thesis adds important insights by focusing on two Central Anatolian towns. Also, most studies date from the 1980s and 90s. This work will assess whether their findings are still up to date. Moreover, it helps to comprehend more fundamental aspects of Turkish politics such as political mobilization, the establishing of links between voters, municipalities and parties as well as decision-making processes. In more general terms the present research demonstrates ways to analyse how politics influence local culture and vice-versa.