Located locally, disseminated nationally : a discursive analysis of the case of bergama movement in Turkey

Özen, Hayriye
This study aims at understanding the 15-year long hegemonic struggle of the Bergama movement. In the pursuit of this aim, it first seeks to develop a conceptual framework through the articulation of the insights of Social Movement approaches within the discourse-theoretical framework of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. Analyzing the Bergama movement within this conceptual framework, it then argues that in spite of its emergence in the local Bergama context as a particular response to the operation of a goldmine, the Bergama movement has gone beyond a local protest campaign. It constituted an anti-gold mining discourse that, tying the issue of the operation of the goldmine in Bergama to some wider issues, such as protection of environment, operation of gold mines, operation of foreign companies, rule of law, human rights, and democracy, posed challenges both to the neo-liberal economic structure and to the authoritarian state structure in the Turkish context. The study also argues that despite its initial success in providing a discursive space for the articulation of a number of unfulfilled social demands and thereby mobilizing a number of social groups, the Bergama movement gradually weakened mainly because the challenges that it posed to the hegemonic structures impelled the several forces of the status-quo to the struggle, who did not only win the popular consent to the necessity of the operation of goldmines by means of constructing a pro-mining discourse on the basis of speculations but also antagonized and repressed the protesters on the basis of inevident allegations.


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Citation Formats
H. Özen, “Located locally, disseminated nationally : a discursive analysis of the case of bergama movement in Turkey ,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2007.