Abstract: Ideological Accumulation by Dispossession: Changing Hegemonic Strategies of Business in Turkey before and after the Neoliberal Era

Melih Yesilbag


This paper scrutinizes the ideological strategies of business before and after the 1980 military intervention, a landmark initiating the neoliberal era in Turkey. By tracing the publications and public announcements of two powerful employers' associations (MESS and TISK) in the period of concern, it analyzes the transformation of the efforts of the business front in the public realm. Due to strong unionism, labor militancy, student activism, and widespread anti-business sentiments before 1980, business representatives preferred not to be publicly visible, pursued a low profile, and could establish only weak ties with the media and the academy. Although the military intervention immediately eliminated the political factors that could potentially undermine business, business achieved its prestigious social status through a systematic and extensive public relations campaign in line with the neoliberalization process.