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The Development of the State‐Owned Enterprises in Turkey: 1923–1980

Journal of Historical Sociology

Published online on

Abstract

["Journal of Historical Sociology, EarlyView. ", "\nAbstract\nThis article seeks to re‐interpret the development of state‐owned enterprises (SOEs) in Turkey from 1923 to 1980. The article shows that the dominant strong state tradition (SST) literature, which interpreted the development of SOEs as an independent project of the state to maintain its control over society, had been unable to fully explain the development processes of SOEs because it treated the state as an external entity distinct from (and even opposing to) the social classes. Employing an alternative Poulantzian framework, the article argues that the development of SOEs in Turkey was driven by class‐industry interest and appeared as a precondition of the development of capitalism in Turkey. As such, relations between SOEs and the social classes were internal and complementary, rather than external and antagonistic. The SOEs were providing the bulk of industrial inputs and investment capital to the bourgeoisie fractions within the constitutive context of domestic capital accumulation strategies at the time (e.g. capitalist consolidation in 1930s, capitalist expansion in 1950s, capitalist expansion with duty losses in 1960s and 1970s). The SOEs were also benefiting the laboring and popular classes in terms of employment opportunities and higher wages.\n"]