An Analysis of Selected Cases of Environmental Movements in Turkey through an Ecofeminist Approach

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016

Thesis Language: English


Principal Supervisor (For Co-Supervisor Theses): Helga Ida Rittersberger

Co-Supervisor: Osman Balaban


The main aim of this study is to understand how women activists make room for themselves in environmental movements and what their discourse, concerns and motivations are in environmental problems Turkey. The main research problem of this thesis is whether there is a space for women in environmental movements in Turkey and how women position themselves in environmental movements in Turkey. In Turkey, how women activists frame their concerns to create collective identity, which repertoire and discourse they use to defend natural environment and to express their demands are questioned. Moreover, their motivations for mobilization to raise environmental concerns against top-down neo-liberal economic policies and energy investments of Turkish government are also analyzed. Women’s motivations to participate in environmental movement are different in urban and rural areas. While women try to defend lifestyles in urban, they fight for their living spaces against environmental destruction. This study tries to find out how participations and initiatives of women in environmental issues affect struggle for defending nature despite the aggressive attitude of Turkish government related to environmental protection and sustainability. In this thesis, woman-nature relations and women’s participation in environmental issues are analyzed with ecofeminist perspective. It is significant to analyze environmental movements in Turkey through gender lenses to via understand the impacts of leadership of women environmental movements. As in many other societies in the world, women have close relations with nature also in Turkey. In addition, they play crucial role in green consumerism and sustainability. While some movements do not emerge feminist motivations, women emphasize women-nature relations when they express their concerns about environmental degradation. Although it is difficult to claim there is an ecofeminist movement in Turkey, there is a space for women that can make their voices heard in environmental issues in Turkey. If there is no enough space, they seem to prepare to create this space for their struggle for environmental conservation. So, as being woman, their struggle for environment is valuable.