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Privatization processes as ideological moments: The block sales of large-scale state enterprises in Turkey in the 2000s

In the process of neoliberal transformation in Turkey, what differentiated the 2000s from the previous two decades were the block sale privatizations of large-scale state enterprises such as PETKIM, Turk Telekom, TUPRAS, and ERDEMIR. These block sales, the conditions of which were shaped by political struggles at different levels, were also constitutive political and ideological moments per se, helping to reproduce a particular perception of social reality at the expense of others. This paper will overview and critically problematize the privatization processes of these four enterprises, all completed under the successive AKP governments in power since 2002. By focusing on the apparently technical and economic aspects of the block-sale processes, such as valuation, efficiency enhancement and marketing, the paper calls into question the increased concerns over their transparency, and wonders whether such concerns can be understood as attempts to mask the substantially corrupt nature of capitalist relations of production, which inescapably makes itself felt during these processes.