Strengthening Local Democracy or Neo-Liberal Conversions? New Local Governmental Legislation in Turkey

Alkan A.

LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT, cilt.9, ss.23-38, 2011 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 9 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2011
  • Doi Numarası: 10.4335/9.1.23-38(2011)
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.23-38


Among numerous transformation processes of the globalized neo-liberal era, governmental restructuring and decentralisation of the State have been distinctive and prevalent features, particularly in the countries characterized by highly centralised traditions. This transformation has resulted in rather complex and contradictory reforms at the local level: On the one hand, local community members have begun to be seen as 'customers' instead of citizens. But on the other hand, local autonomy and subsidiarity have gained more importance than before. In parallel with the redefinition of local identities, differences, local potentials and decision-making processes, the emphasis on local citizenship and local democracy has become sharper. After coming into force, the new Turkish (local) governmental legislation (2004-2006) has cloven these paradoxical processes and relations. This paper aims to question how far these paradoxes are embedded in the new legislation, and whether, in these circumstances, 'governmental decentralisation' directly connotes 'the empowerment of local governments and local communities'.