2019-10-30Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/21497
Citizens on the Shop Floor: Negotiating Class, Citizenship and National Identity in a Turkish State Factory
This paper examines discourses on citizenship and nation at shop floor level through Bakırköy Cloth Factory – a state-owned factory in Istanbul, Turkey. Founded as a private enterprise in 1850, Bakırköy became the State Industrial Office’s property in 1932 and of Sümerbank, the young Turkish state’s bank and industrial holding company in charge of textile production in 1933. Having survived such a drastic regime change, the factory’s first two decades under Sümerbank were shaped by the ruling classes’ zealous and simultaneous efforts of nation-building and industrialization. In the ruling classes’ popular projection, the alleged conversion of an unproductive industrial relic of the imperial past into an example of Republican hard work and patriotism provided opportunities for workers to repay their debt to the nation and its forefathers. In the context of the displacement and mediation of class conflict via nationalist discourses, this study explores how this industrial national space became the site of discursive struggles on national belonging and citizenship. Material from parliamentary debates and media coverage is linked with workers’ files to offer a micro-historical perspective on the interactions between class and nation.
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This article was supported by the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.