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dc.contributor.advisorHarris, William
dc.contributor.advisorHeadley, Jim
dc.contributor.advisorHill, Douglas
dc.contributor.authorOktem, Onur
dc.identifier.citationOktem, O. (2012). Water Politics and Political Culture: Turkey’s Compatibility with the European Union (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractTurkey’s willingness to enter the EU brought forward a set of issues regarding harmonisation that needed urgent solutions before such joining could take place. Harmonisation work requires rigorous agreement between Turkey and the EU around how Turkish law and institutions are going to function in harmony with the European statutory and institutional setting. One of the most important areas of work is fresh water management. If Turkey wants to join the EU they are required to apply the European Water Framework Directive (EU WFD), the community’s water policy for member countries. This means that Turkey is required to adopt the fundamental principles of the Directive and also has to undertake a series of actions to change its water governance system into an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) framework. IWRM is promoted, as the core principle of how freshwater should be managed under the WFD. IWRM offers a systemic approach to water management where citizen participation and conciliation of vested interests among the users of the river basin should ideally produce optimum results for ecosystems and socio-economic values. In this sense, IWRM supports ‘processes’ that lead to democratic water decision-making. However, there is a practical difficulty with the implementation of IWRM. This thesis explores how the concept becomes abstract and theoretical where political cultures of water bureaucracies impede vigorous discussion around the issues of water management. This study looks into this phenomenon in the Turkish case and argues that Turkey is a good example of where IWRM is difficult to implement due to the social constructions embedded within how Turkish water bureaucracy functions. Turkish water institutions are set around a paternalistic system. Water policy is being formulated within a technical-economic engineering dominated setting where other points of view can be pushed out of the way in pursuit of political agendas. The closed knowledge system of orthodox engineering is useful politically and a monopoly on this knowledge by particular groups affords them a lot of power; paternalistic transactions over issues of water management is a case where particular engineering mind-set silence potentially dissenting views of how to go about democratic water management. A comparison with Spain shows that similar political culture exists despite the Spanish government’s attempt to implement the EU’s Water Framework Directive.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectsocial constructionism
dc.subjectpolitical culture
dc.subjectEuropean Union
dc.subjectwater bureaucracy
dc.titleWater Politics and Political Culture: Turkey's Compatibility with the European Union
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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