This chapter analyzes the political economy of the environment in Turkey by developing an analytical framework to shed light on the nature and workings of the environmental policy design and implementation process. It makes three main arguments: (a) the Turkish state continues to favor growth over the environment (with a recent focus on the trifecta of construction, energy, and extractive sectors) so as to establish its hegemony in a Gramscian sense; (b) with the current polarization in ideological and cultural domains as well as increasing authoritarianism, the conflation of environmental politics with other types of politics (such as ethnicity) induces the incumbent government to perceive environmental activism representing an ideological opposition and therefore to take a hostile and uncompromising position against environmental demands; and (c) the combination of these two factors is pernicious to the development of a democratic relationship between state and society, resulting in the titular vicious cycle that undermines the effective implementation of environmental policy in Turkey. Breaking this cycle and making environmental policymaking and implementation more effective would require radical structural changes.

Turkey, environment, issue-linkage, polarization, hegemony,

Adaman, F, Akbulut, B, & Arsel, M. (2020). The Political Economy of Environmental Policymaking in Turkey: A Vicious Cycle. In The Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190064891.013.24