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The making of citizenship via tea production: State‐sponsored economic growth, nationalism and state in Turkey


Nations and Nationalism

Published online on


["Nations and Nationalism, EarlyView. ", "\nAbstract\nThe conventional historiographical paradigm depicts the consolidation of nation‐state and nationalism in Turkey as a top‐down political project characterised by the domination of the ‘center’ over the ‘periphery’. In this narrative, the masses are portrayed as either passive recipients or silenced opponents of the nation‐state project. Based on a historical and contemporary analysis of the state‐sponsored tea production in Rize, this article contends that this perspective neglects the agency of the provincial population in the reproduction of the nation‐state and nationalism in Turkey and in influencing the decisions made by the state elite. The economic interventionist measures of the ruling authority to extend its nationalist hegemony across Anatolia also opened a field of action for rural/provincial populations to negotiate their interests with the state and thereby influence its policies. The main contours of this relationship have remained salient during the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) period, and it needs to be taken into account to explain this party's large ideological appeal in the Black Sea region. This argument builds on a fieldwork conducted in Rize that included in‐depth interviews with local tea workers and farmers as well as extensive archival research.\n"]