Social capital formation and disposition of the hometown associations in Turkish politics: the Ankara case

Şenalp, Eren
Large cities in Turkey have been at the centre of political field since the foundation of republic. However starting from the late 1950s, the political dynamics of the large cities have changed immensely thanks to the rapid migrations from the rural areas. In a short space of time half population of the large cities was constituted by the migrant population. In a competitive political environment political parties entered a dynamic relationship with the migrant population characterised by so-called patron-client relations. On the other hand there was also a process of radicalisation of politics during the same period led by the large city politics. There was an uneasy and delicate relationship between clientelism and radical politics in the 1970s. This balance has been changed dramatically in favour of clientelistic relations by 1980 coup d’état as the decline of the class politics paved the way for various forms of identity politics including Hemşehrilik relations and hometown associations as its organizational form. The thesis focuses on the hometown associations as a key form of social in general and political capital. Although hometown associations have been used as a stepping stone to the political carrier from the very beginning, this strategy became highly influential after the 1980s. The empirical research shows that despite effective working of such a strategy, it tends to create a legitimacy problem for the hometown associations and the political figures using employing such a strategy.


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Citation Formats
E. Şenalp, “Social capital formation and disposition of the hometown associations in Turkish politics: the Ankara case,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.