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Contested hydrohegemony: Hydraulic control and security in Turkey

Jeroen Warner
Disaster Studies, Wageningen University and Centre for Sustainable Management of Resources, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands; jeroenwarner@gmail.com

ABSTRACT: The article seeks to expand the understanding of the emerging concept of hydrohegemony (Zeitoun and Warner, 2006). Illustrated by Turkey'€™s strategy with respect to the Euphrates-Tigris it looks at the layered nature of water-related political strategies at different levels. The article therefore introduces hegemony as a layered phenomenon whose multi-level interactions impinge on each other. It zooms in on Turkish hegemony in its hydraulic control and security strategies, and the international repercussions of that strategy. The present analysis suggests that Turkey'€™s basin and regional hegemony is contested and constrained from different sides, not least at home. Its water projects are a flashpoint of domestic, basin as well as global politics. It argues that the need to access capital in the international market to realise these ambitions necessitated a 'passive revolution' in Turkey which opened a window of opportunity utilized by the internationalised counter-hegemonic moves against Turkey'€™s dam projects in Southeast Anatolia, notably the ongoing Ilisu dam on the Tigris.