Suicidal Economy of Turkey in Times of Crisis: 2018 Crisis and Beyond

Yucel Y., Kabalay B.

CRITICAL SOCIOLOGY, vol.49, no.4-5, pp.783-800, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 49 Issue: 4-5
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/08969205221113072
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.783-800
  • Keywords: economy-relevant suicides, neoliberalism, precarity, indebtedness, 2018 crisis, FARMERS SUICIDES, POLITICS, WAYANAD, PROTEST, INDIA, LABOR, DEBT, LIFE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article aims to explain the political-economic character of the increasing suicides in Turkey since 2018 that stem from indebtedness, poverty, and unemployment. It frames the acts as economy-relevant suicides to emphasize the embeddedness of these suicides within the neoliberal transformation and its consequences at the global and national levels. In this regard, the study traces the trajectory of neoliberalism in Turkey from 1980 to the COVID-19 pandemic, and critically evaluates the political and economic decisions of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to reveal the causal links with the increasing number of suicides. The study argues that two aspects of neoliberalization have paved the way for the post-2018 suicides: the declining political and economic power of the working class and the outcomes of financialization such as long-term unemployment and indebtedness. Thus, it argues that economy-relevant suicides are pathologic but depict political character, regardless of their effectiveness as a political strategy, given the consequences of the neoliberal transformation and political choices in due course.