Plotting Development: Land, Race, Statecraft in Turkey

Beg├╝m Adalet, Cornell University

This paper situates the agrarian and technological transformations of the Green Revolution in a longer history of land reform, population management, and international development in Turkey throughout the 20 th century. In doing so, it joins recent literature that uncovers the local roots of the Green Revolution in domestic politics and land struggles in the global south, also revealing the entwined histories of colonial and racial dispossession with agricultural norms and practices. I argue that the materials of agrarian development, such as problems of soil and arability, as well as decisions about what and when to cultivate were historically linked with questions of territory, colonization, and state formation in Turkey. The arrival of Green Revolution technologies in Turkey in the 1960s and 70s superseded proposals for land redistribution and marked a new phase in the territorial control over Kurdish-populated areas, making it a productive site for an interdisciplinary study of the political economic, ecological, and racialized dimensions of internal colonialism.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 74. Space, Materiality, and State-Society Relations in the Middle East and Beyond