GRASSROOTS MOBILISATION IN TURKEY: THE TRANSNATIONAL CHARACTER OF LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTESTS, A Voulvouli

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Content: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Of ACADEMIC RESEARCH
Vol. 3. No. 1. January, 2011, Part III
GRASSROOTS MOBILISATION IN TURKEY: THE TRANSNATIONAL CHARACTER OF LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTESTS
Aimilia Voulvouli Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Cultural Technology & Communication University of the Aegean Mytilene-Lesbos (GREECE) E-mail: [email protected] ABSTRACT The present work constitutes an analysis of environmental protests in Turkey. Based on 18 months of fieldwork my research suggests that globalisation, through economic liberalisation and media globalisation has affected Turkish activism. Turkish environmental groups are globally informed organisations - through the changes in information technology, world order and the challenge to national sovereignty (Williams 2003) - and are themselves part of, what Hannerz (1996) calls, `global interconnectedness'. In other words, they are part of "social economic and demographic processes that not only take place within nations but also transcend them in a way that attention limited to local processes, identities and units of analysis yields incomplete understanding of the local" (Kearney 1995: 547). Besides, environmentalism in developing countries has been influenced - or dominated (Argyrou 2005) ­ by ideas derived from developed nations through GLOBAL CIVIL SOCIETY and the world media (Ignatow 2008). These points suggest that an examination of Turkish environmental groups should not treat them as specifically Turkish groups. As Ahmet Цncь and Gьrcan Koзan (2001) write, globalisation is characterised by the possibilities of the market in a worldwide level and thus, the political and cultural social process of globalisation must be seen in relation to the logic these possibilities reinforce. This means that supra-national economic powers dominate in the arena of social rights which in turn results in pressure from citizens whose rights are being overlooked. These citizens organise themselves in groups with a transnational character since the forces they oppose to are also transnational. In the Turkish context, the example of the various environmental groups confirms this tactic (imek 2004). Key words: Turkey, Environmental Protests, Transnationalism, ASG, Bergama protest, The lisu Dam Case, The Akkuyu Resistance
1. INTRODUCTION The present study, which is based on ethnographic fieldwork in Turkey, examines manifested responses to policy making, with particular reference to a group called Arnavutkцy District Initiative (in Turkish Arnavutkцy Semt Giriimi ­ ASG) and the ways in which these manifestations negotiate their relationship with the Turkish state as far as environmental issues are concerned. Bearing in mind that the government's effort to join the EU has created an international environment of political opinion about Turkey in the pages that follow, it is claimed that globalisation, through economic liberalisation and media globalisation have affected Turkish activism. The foundation of international NGOs - such as Greenpeace during the 1980s and 1990s in Turkey - illustrates the above argument. All these organisations are globally informed organisations - through the changes in information technology, world order and the challenge to national sovereignty (1) - and are themselves part of, what Hannerz (2) calls, `global interconnectedness'. In other words, they are part of "social economic and demographic processes that not only take place within nations but also transcend them in a way that attention limited to local processes, identities and units of analysis yields incomplete understanding of the local" (3: 547). Besides, as Argyrou (4) claims, environmentalism in developing countries has been influenced - or dominated ­ by ideas derived from developed nations through global civil society and the world media (5). These points suggest that the examination of environmental groups in Turkey should not treat them as specifically Turkish groups. As will be discussed below their activities associate their claims with those of global social movements making the former part of the later. In other words, all these groups have a transnational character, since their concerns are transnationally informed and their environmental rhetoric is at some points similar to the rhetoric of global environmental `civil' actors. 2. THE TURKISH VERSION OF ENVIRONMENTALISM: TURKISH ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANISATIONS Following Kousis and Eder's (6) assumption, that the type of mobilisation each society chooses to follow depends on the type of impact human action has upon nature, one might expect that environmental organisations in Turkey would have organised their activities around documented major environmental problems of Turkey such as noise pollution, the urban environment (air quality, water supply and waste-water, as well as solid waste management) (7), the natural resources management (water resources, soils and land, forests, biodiversity), the marine and coastal resources, cultural and natural heritage and natural as well as man-made environmental hazards (8). However, according to scholars of Turkish environmentalism there are other parameters to be taken into consideration; for example, Цzdemir (8) underlines that the development of environmental awareness in
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modern Turkey has coincided with the development of democracy and human rights claims. In addition, Turkish environmentalism is influenced by Western environmentalism in terms of developing a local voice with international implications. An example of such a fusion is witnessed at the mass local demonstrations opposed to certain developments or aimed at the preservation of parks in the capital. Small groups are also influenced by this atmosphere. One of my informants during my fieldwork, told me: "I was in Boston about two years ago and I had to travel by bus. The main road as you come out of Boston towards the south, to Cape Cod, is separated by two lanes. The private vehicles that were carrying only one passenger were obligated to follow lane number 1 whereas vehicles with more than three passengers could circulate easier. So, what happens is that in a neighbourhood three or four families come together and they share a car. Our bus could also go to the lessjammed lane. So, even in places like America where cars constitute symbols of personal freedom you have a limited right to use them. If you are using them in a way that affects other people's quality of life then your freedom stops being a freedom. So, I think in this country people have to realize that there is a good public transportation system and that you are able to go to your job quickly and in much comfort by using public transportation. There should be ways of making you not to use your car. For example in London, if you take your car in Central London, you pay a very high parking ticket. ... Why do these people do that in Europe? Why don't we learn from their mistake? They have already made the mistake! Unfortunately the argument, "this is my car, this is my freedom, I can do whatever I want with it", is wrong. You cannot do anything you want with it if you are harming other people, if you are effecting their quality of life and I think that a lot of people are now realising this" As Ignatow very well puts it: "The bright image of Western modernity guides Turks' efforts to protect their country's natural environment, too" (5: 55). Turkish environmentalism consists of three groups of organisations. The first is concerned with a broad but ineffective official sector1. The second is the civil environmental movement (foundations, associations and cooperatives formed by the private sector) associated with the first group and, in some cases, shows a technocratic tendency when dealing with environmental groups. Finally, there is a third group which is non-civil in terms of a political agenda (the Green Party for example) yet, relatively independent from the first group but also ineffective. Within this framework there are four distinct groups: the Greens, the radical environmentalists, the conservationists and the Islamist environmental groups (8). As Ignatow (9) claims, many Turkish environmental associations have allied with liberal industrialists, the EU and the United nations. EFT (Environmental Foundation of Turkey) for example, is linked with international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the World Bank. At the same time, the UNEP National Committee for Turkey and the EURASIA Environmental NGOs information center are incorporated within the legal framework of EFT. The Foundation is also in cooperation with the Centre for Our Common Future, located in Geneva (10). Both orthodox Islamists and Alevis have links with international organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. In addition, Alevi Muslims are being supported by Alevis of the diaspora who live mainly in Europe and Australia (5). In this way, these groups have found ways to institutionalise their environmental beliefs. Local campaigns have also looked for support beyond Turkish borders. The Bergama protest, which will be discussed below, altered the character of local mobilisations through the transmission of information of their struggle not only in national media but also in the international environmental community in which they sought for allies. Ever since, environmental protests follow similar patterns of internationalisation. 3. METHODOLOGY The present paper is based on ethnographic fieldwork which lasted eighteen months. It began as a preliminary investigation mainly through the Internet, in order to locate the cases of environmental conflicts that exist in Turkey. After having focused my attention to the protests in the following pages, I decided to base my fieldwork in Arnavutkцy and study closely the ASG protest. During fieldwork, I settled in the area, initially in a guesthouse and later on, in the house of one of my informants. I continued my research after I had left Istanbul by keeping in contact with my informants, receiving newsletters by ASG and keeping up emerging events related to the issue of the bridge through the electronic press. While in the field, the main methods of my data production were multi-levelled, including participant observation, interviewing, collecting news articles, travelling within the country, and keeping the classic ethnographic diary. As far as the Bergama, the Ilisu dam and the Akkuyu cases are concerned, the information presented here comes from newspapers, blogs, internet sites and the scholarly work of researchers who have studied these cases. 4. THE BERGAMA PROTEST A much studied and discussed protest is that of Bergama. It concerns a conflict between the residents of the Bergama area near Izmir and the Eurogold Corporation over the establishment of a gold mine in the area which is using cyanide to extract gold. The majority of the residents of the area have strongly been opposing to the
1 As Arsel (48) mentions, the Turkish Ministry of Environment is under-funded thus not having the opportunity to take part in important economic policy decisions. 882 | www.ijar.lit.az
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existence of the mine due to the potential harmful side-effects that cyanide has on public health. The controversy created by this case led to the Turkish High Court (11; 14; 12; 8; 13). More specifically, in 1989 an Australian based multi-national company known as Normandy Mining was granted a permit to start the Eurogold Project. The company made a strong public campaign aiming at presenting the project as a positive contribution to the area's socio-economic development. To demonstrate its considerate intentions the consortium announced its plan to construct a mosque and a wedding hall in Ovacik village where the mine would be based. Touched by the goodwill of Normandy some villagers agreed to sell their land to the corporation at a considerably higher price than the market rate at the time. Another group of villagers saw the mine as a positive development for the area as they perceived it as new source of employment (14). As required by Turkish legislation, in 1991 the company submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) of the gold mine to the Ministry of Environment. The EIAR asserted that cyanide usage is legitimate and un-harmful for the local population. However, Normandy's history on environmental issues was infamous to academics, scientists, researchers and politicians1 who publicly claimed that cyanide leaching was, in fact, dangerous. This information along with the warnings received by international environmental organisations and an incident during the preliminary drilling for the construction of the mine that made the water of the area undrinkable for four months (15) initiated public reactions against the mine which, in turn, reinforced inquiries by the municipality regarding the cyanide leaching method (ibid). An Environmental Executive Committee was formed with informal organisation. This committee made the issue known both nationally and internationally. For the locals it was not simply an environmental problem but a citizenship issue in terms of people's right to resist and protect their welfare and livelihoods. The extensive participation of women, the non-violent approach, the creativity, persistence, and determination of its protesters, and the occasional use of shocking and non-traditional forms of protest, including a nude protest, made the Bergama struggle widely known and appreciated (8)2. The Bergama citizens reached the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Turkey appealing to their constitutional rights, in terms of living in a healthy and balanced environment. The Court revoked the permit given to Normandy on the grounds that the mine breached the right to a healthy environment and would pose public health to a severe risk (15; 11). The Bergama protest has been interpreted in various ways. Firstly, it has been examined as a case of multi-layered governance; that is, as a locus in which two main political levels meet - the national and the transnational level (14). Due to the government's hesitation to adopt the decision of the Constitutional Court, the Bergama villagers related their demands to global agendas such as the efficacy of individual, citizenship and human rights in the world context, the structure of the international order and major global social problems such as environmental degradation, disproportionate wealth and the power of transnational corporations. During their effort they came to realize that politics dominates justice, and that the economy dominates politics, thus they turned themselves into political activists with a global character (11). Eventually, they were associated with NGOs, social movements and international institutions (European Court of Human Rights, the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague). This entails a global agenda which questions the exclusivity of governments over political power. In this way, new actors become involved and define two types of democratic citizenship movements. The first type is about the mobilisation for the effective use of existing rights, and the second type concerns the mobilisation for the recognition of rights, which ­ although they are recognised on a transnational level ­ are not recognised on a national level. The Bergama movement has claimed both existing rights, at the national level, and the recognition of transnationally accepted rights (14). 5. THE LISU DAM CASE The lisu Dam case centres on a decision taken by the government to build a dam in the area of lisu which is situated in the predominantly southeast area of Turkey. The objections had to do with the failure of the environmental impacts Assessment (EIA) of the project to prove that the area would not be affected by the dam. The locals also objected to the fact that the dam would flood the city of lisu which is of historical and archaeological significance and that a lot of people would be unwillingly relocated. These factors constituted a threat to the local cultural heritage (16). The case became noticeably public both inside and outside the country because of the involvement and the organisation of international campaigns by the international NGOs Friends of the Earth as well as national NGOs. 6. THE AKKUYU RESISTANCE Another campaign is the Akkuyu resistance that revolves around the construction of a nuclear power plant. The campaign has made its struggle public both at the national and the international level. The opposition began in 1976 when the area was selected as the site of a nuclear plant at the time of its selection for the host of the nuclear plant back in 1976. However, the protest became stronger in 1994 when Turkish environmentalists were larger in numbers and after the Chernobyl disaster had made people more aware of the risks they would run if a nuclear energy plant were built in their area. Organised protest began in 1994 when citizens from Akkuyu demonstrated outside the office of the then Prime Minister, Tansu Зiller. This demonstration resulted in a meeting between the Prime Minister and the activists who proclaimed that "the Mediterranean will remain blue." The nuclear
1 The mayor of Bergama Sefa Takin and a professor of stanbul Technical University, smail Duman, were two of the most active protestors against the mine. 2 In April 1997, the military tanks were sent to the area to restrain the protest but the villagers made a peaceful demonstration in which 10,000 people and 1,000 tractors took part (Sachs 1997). B a k u , A z e r b a i j a n | 883
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plant project was solidly rejected by the villagers of the area, a stance that became visible in the results of an unofficial referendum held in 1999 with 84% of the residents of the area voting against it. The Akkuyu protest assumed various forms: nationwide demonstrations, channelling international activists and educational campaigns against nuclear power through Greenpeace. Those actions brought results, such as the international support from Europe and North America, the endorsement of other international environmental organisations such as the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility as well as the formation of Turkish Cypriots Coalition Against Akkuyu and the initiation of a campaign by Greek Cypriot activists under the banner of the Green Party. Finally, Greek environmentalists expressed their support and through their representatives brought the debate to the European parliament. 7. THE ARNAVUTKЦY DISTRICT INITIATIVE Until 1997 the debate of whether or not a third Bosphorus crossing (3. Boaz Geзisi) was necessary was limited to the Ministry of Public Works and Settlements and certain bureaucrats such as the former (1984-1989) Mayor of Istanbul, Bedrettin Dalan, on the one side and the Chamber of Architects on the other. The former claimed that the crossing was necessary whereas the latter claimed that not only it was not necessary but that it was also harmful as far as traffic congestion was concerned. At the beginning of 1998, the Municipality of Istanbul (stanbul Bьyьk ehir Belediyesi) assigned the preparation of a traffic master plan for the city to Istanbul Technical University (stanbul Teknik Ьniversitesi - ITЬ). The master plan was delivered in December 1998 and amongst other solutions for traffic congestion suggested an underwater tube tunnel to improve public transportation. The construction of a Third Bridge was not part of it whatsoever (17). However, in November 1998, a month before the master plan had been completed newspapers published that the Ministry of Public Works and Settlements was planning the construction of a Third Bridge which would connect the European with the Asian sides of Bosphorus. The bridge would rest in Arnavutkцy (European side) and Kandilli (Asian side). ASG was formed in 1998 immediately after the construction of the Third Bridge had been announced. Ever since, weekly meetings have been taking place, press releases have been printed, festivals have been held as well as dinners, tea-parties and educational panels on the effects that the bridge would have on the neighbourhood's life. In addition, an oral history project of the area has been launched. All these activities aim at increasing the awareness of the area's important cultural and architectural history as well as of the destructive effects of the construction of the bridge. The arguments supporting this claim revolve mainly around the environmental effects of the bridge. Within the context of this discourse ASG involves concepts of global environmentalism such as sustainability, natural and cultural heritage preservation. It also incorporates issues of democratic participation and human rights. By the beginning of 1999, the conflict escalated between those who were for and against the construction of the bridge. During that year, mainly in the national but also in the international press, about 120 articles and press releases were dedicated to what came to be widely known as the Third Bridge (3. kцprь). The conflicting parties were the residents of Arnavutkцy represented by the ASG and the Ministry of Public Works and Settlements represented by the 17th State Highways Department (17. Karayollari Bцlge Mьdьrlьь). In addition, ASG lobbied with similar initiatives in other countries and with international NGOs. As a participant of the initiative stated: "ICOMOS1 has listed Arnavutkцy as HERITAGE AT RISK. So there is International support. Those who participate in ASG shape their identities through a `civil society' discourse at national and transnational level. Many times ASG participants state that they are part of civil society and that they are supported by NGOs and transnational organisations. "We have been in touch with a lot of European Universities. For example, there is an organisation of Mediterranean cities in Barcelona. They are waiting to hear from us. If we say to them "Arnavutkцy is in danger", they will start sending e-mails, protests and etc, so I think that this will make the government think twice, or three times before taking a stupid action". After the 1980s, the concept of civil society emerged in Turkey as a counterbalance of the statist influence. Activists who claim to be part of it declare that civil initiative can contribute to the stabilisation of democracy in the country and the same rhetoric is often used by ASG participants: "The last 5-10 years, civil initiatives in Turkey ­ Non Governmental Organisations ­ have become very important. Especially after Habitat II2, I think it was in 1996 here in Istanbul, more than 10,000 people went. Habitat II was an initiator for a lot NGOs, especially protecting women and
1 International Council on Monuments and Sites 2 Habitat II was the name of the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements held in order to address the issue of»Adequate shelter for all" and»Sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world". According to the declaration of the conference, `human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development, including adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements, and they are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature'. The conference was held in Istanbul between 3rd ­ 14th of June 1996; it was attended by the representative delegates of 171 countries comprised by 16,400 people. The final document mentions that `within a framework of goals and principals and commitments, a positive vision of sustainable human settlements where all have adequate shelter, a healthy and safe environment, basic services, and productive and freely chosen employment. The Habitat Agenda will guide all efforts to turn this vision into a reality' (49).
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children and environment. Many civil societies have been formed after that, and it has created an awareness of the importance of non-political, civil resistance, civil disobedience in this country. The governments are edgy too! They realize that this is a new force in the society. So, I think it will be very stupid for any government to disregard Arnavutkцy and their resistance and say "who are these Arnavutkцylites? I don't care, I want to build the bridge". There will be a big problem and there will be an international crime. So, I think things have changed since the first bridge was built. The first bridge was built in 1973, 31 years ago. Turkey was a different country, Europe was a different place; now the man in the street, the civilian population is more important than before and that is, I suppose, part of becoming more democratic and more civilised". European perspectives of Turkey and prospects for the country's future is another issue that appears quite often in my discussions with ASG participants. Some of my informants stated that they wish to enter the EU as a nation because they believe that certain rights should be protected: "The intention to enter Europe means that people have to reach certain standards of the protection of environment of the protection of civil rights, of the protection of democracy. So, it is definitely a positive thing. And it prevents bureaucrats, it prevents civil servants, governments from behaving very irresponsibly". Therefore, ASG tries to "render the struggle against the Third Bridge a common cause and thus achieve the status of a social movement by having its objectives undertaken collectively by the mobilisation of a distinct social base and by rendering its activity towards changes in policy direction" (18: 3). The launch of the ASG website (19) can also be seen as an example of the effort of ASG to communicate with the rest of society both in national and international level. An effort which seems to have worked since the foreign press places the ASG struggle as central in the Third Bridge issue with items appearing in the LA Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, National Geographic. An article appearing in the New York Times International has already been discussed. The message of another international press article is examined here, from the LA Times. The article titled "A Bridge that Turks Refuse to Cross", focuses on the struggle emphasizing the capacities of an organised resistance, an element lacking in previous years in Turkey, especially since the 1980s. The Washington Post, in an article entitled "Historic Homes Torn By Times in Istanbul", refers to the ASG resistance as part of the renovation efforts of the residents of the historic old houses of the Bosphorus (20). Moreover, the participants of ASG have created a transnational identity by reflecting national and broader developments which - combined with their demographic characteristics - form an identity of global activists. And it is this identity which motivates their participation in the ASG. During the Marmaray Inauguration Ceremony1, ASG participants were present with banners writing "Yes to the Tunnel" (in Turkish) with `yes' in English, French, Greek and Russian - "Yes, oui, nai, da". Another example of this transnational character of ASG is the banner hanging above Beyaz Gьl Street in the heart of Arnavutkцy writing "Third Bridge: Hayir, No Nein, Non". In this way, "local problems underlined by local campaigns are considered to be in everyone's backyard" (3). This is why radical environmental conflicts are rarely local in essence. They may start as a local protest but they almost always find themselves at a national and frequently transnational level. In the case of ASG this is conspicuous from the rhetoric that ASG uses, which very often is in accordance with the rhetoric of global environmentalism. Besides, ASG has never tried to conceal the fact that it appeals to the sentiments of the international community for the protection of Arnavutkцy. As mentioned above, this effort is symbolically reflected on their banners some of which are written in languages other than Turkish. 9. CONCLUSIONS: THE TRANSNATIONAL CHARACTER OF LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTESTS Both New Social Movements theories and Resource Mobilisation Theory have been subject to critical assessment that illustrated each paradigm's drawbacks. As Psimitis (21) claims, it is obvious that the weakness of NSM theory is the strength of RMT and vice-versa. In the meantime, a new paradigm has been emerging which combines elements from both the American and European tradition in the study of social movements. I call this new group of theories as the Global Social Movements Theory (GSMT) with proponents such as Arjun Appadurai (22), Hillary Cunningham (23), Pamela Martin (24), Marc Williams (1) and June Nash (25). These approaches focus on "the tensions created by globalisation processes and the ways in which populations affected by them, reenvision their positions as they respond to global tendencies in culturally and historically distinct ways" (25:13). Even though Appadurai (26:15) states that "the sociology of these emergent social forms part movements, part networks, part organisations has yet to be developed", a number of studies have flourished in the social sciences; e.g., concerning indigenous rights protests (27; 28; 24), housing campaigns (29; 30), urban poor struggles (31; 32), protest against infrastructure developments (33; 34; 35; 36; 37), environmental protests (14; 12), Latin American social movements (38; 39; 40; 41; 28). The problem until recently has been that, "anthropologists on the one hand and sociologists and political scientists on the other have had little impact on or awareness of each other's efforts to understand social movements" (42: 286).
1 Marmaray is the name of an underwater tunnel which is being constructed under the Bosphorus. The inauguration of the beginning of constructions took place on May 9th 2004 and many ASG participants were present. B a k u , A z e r b a i j a n | 885
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GSMT manages to combine the `grand theory' preferences of sociologists and political scientists with the micro-level approach favoured by anthropologists. Of course, anthropologists have been studying local collective action long before globalisation theories came into theoretical mainstream. marginalised groups have always been the subject of anthropology either outside of or within the developed world as well as their decision to protest against dominant structures. As Nash (25: 177) puts it: "anthropologists are by inclination and profession predisposed to study the peripheral phenomena of everyday life everywhere in the world and especially in marginal areas". For example, the reaction of the `people without history', - to use Eric Wolf's words - to the newcomers of the old world has been studied by anthropologists since the late 19th century. In this sense, GSMT is a set of approaches that has followed anthropological perspectives in tandem with macro-theories, focusing primarily on the effects of globalisation on different groups of people. The similarity of GSMT to New Social Movements theories lies in an emphasis on the identity of these groups of people, although the focus of these studies is on how these identities emerge and evolve through the mobilisation actions, and not so much on the structural influence that identity has on the mobilisation (22; 25). The similarity that GSMT approaches share with Resource Mobilisation Theorists is a focus on the ways in which these groups mobilise because it reveals the different re-action each group has to global effects (22; 39) which in turn reveals the cultural reasons for resisting (43; 44; 45). These groups, through communication technology, have been made people aware of other struggles in the rest of the world and therefore local groups have the chance to discover that somewhere on the planet there are other people with the same concerns and problems (22). More than 20 years ago, Benedict Anderson (46) defined the process of the awareness of sameness in the creation of imagined communities. In the new millennium, this process is even more present, as nowadays we are dealing with "the intensification of world-wide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away and vice versa" (3: 547). In such a reality the notion of space is understood socially rather than territorially (1), the formation of identities is transnational (22; 23) and, therefore, the construction of alliances is in turn transnational as well. As Kearny (3) claims, local groups situate themselves in globally-informed networks, redefine their projects and obtain allies from other parts of the world. As Ahmet Цncь and Gьrcan Koзan (14) write, globalisation is characterised by the possibilities of the market in a worldwide level and thus, the political and cultural social process of globalisation must be seen in relation to the logic these possibilities reinforce. This means that supra-national economic powers dominate in the arena of social rights which in turn results in pressure from citizens whose rights are being overlooked. These citizens organise themselves in groups with a transnational character since the forces they oppose to are also transnational. In other words, globalisation has contributed to the increase of the power of regional and supranational groups, whereas the impact of the nation-states has begun to diminish. Members of groups which suffer in their local regions call for support from supranational powers such as the EU. In the Turkish context, examples such as the Kurdish movement and environmental groups confirm this tactic (47). The Bergama, the Ilisu Dam and the Akkuyu cases are vivid examples of such interactions. The ASG has also tried and to a large extent has managed to create alliances with supranational organisations such as the UNESCO and other groups such as the Mediterranean Cities Organisation. The networks created through processes of mobilisation of identities [for example], might not be global in the sense that they have representatives across borders, but they are global in consciousness. Their alliances can be better described as transnational a term which "signifies that many of the linkages in question are not `international' in the strict sense of involving nations ­ actually, states ­ as corporate actors; the actors may now be individuals, groups, movements, business enterprises, and in no small part it is this diversity of organisations that we need to consider" (2: 6). `Transnationalism' also signifies the alliances created between some nations but not in the whole world (3). After all, as Hannerz (2) claims, there are nations that do not take part in globalisation but even those who do take part are weakened by the increasing power that global and local organisations assume. All these groups described above even though they were born out of diverse social circumstance and struggle against different issues, they all go beyond the subject that triggered their formation and somehow they put forward demands related with democratic participation, human rights, social justice. Furthermore, they all centre on common identities which emerge and evolve by way of the protest. In this context, it is worth mentioning the phenomenon of globally-informed but transnationally active social movements. Globalisation has brought about common imagination which in turn has brought about transnational alliances. Contemporary social movements even in their most local expression are integrated in global discourses and are part of wider social movements, particular expressions of which exist around the world, namely ethnic, feminist, human rights, environmentalist. All the campaigns discussed above appeal for help both within Turkey and beyond national borders - anywhere that the existence of mechanisms, in the form of social and cultural networks, shape collective behaviour. In this sense, these groups, undoubtedly born out of local concerns, are also transnational in the sense that they are informed by global prerogatives and supported by transnational allies. REFERENCES 1. M. Williams. Social Movements and Global Politics. In: E. Kofman and G. Youngs (eds.) Globalisation: Theory and Practice. London, Biddles Ltd, 2003. 2. U. Hannerz. Transnational Connections: Culture, people, places. London, Routledge, 1996. 3. M. Kearney. "The Local and the Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism". Annual Review of Anthropology 24: 547 ­ 565 (1995).
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