This thesis explores a shift from wheat fields to TOKİ mass housing in Ankara, Turkey and is based on a comparative world-historical perspective (McMichael 1990). Urban and agrarian issues are explored by placing processes of what David Harvey (2003) has referred to as “accumulation by dispossession” at the centre of this shift to capture the contradictions and complexities of neoliberalism in a specific place. I argue that the Turkish state under the Justice and Development Party has determined that accumulation by dispossession should operate as dispossession (upwards redistribution) and repossession (downwards redistribution). A comparison is made between the developmental era, where small producers cultivated wheat for domestic use and self-built housing called gecekondus began appearing in large cities with state acceptance, and the neoliberal era, where small producers are encouraged to cultivate crops for exchange and gecekondus are no longer acceptable to the market dynamics promoted at home and abroad.
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Thesis advisor: Atasoy, Yildiz
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