Transformation of the state-capital relationship over public land in Turkey

Gülöksüz E.

European Urban and Regional Studies, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/09697764231196100
  • Journal Name: European Urban and Regional Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, CAB Abstracts, Geobase, Index Islamicus, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Capital, public land, public-private partnerships, real estate privatisation, state, urban entrepreneurialism
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This article analyses the state’s contemporary role in capital accumulation in the development of public land. In the literature, it is argued that the state goes beyond a regulatory role and participates in the capital-accumulation process as the owner of land or financial assets derived from land-based revenue, thus transforming from an external to an internal actor. It is argued that, in this way, the state governs urban development and the distribution of the land rent. This article argues that in the privatisation of land before development, the state is involved as the regulator and landowner, as suggested in the literature; however, when the state participates in the development of public land through public-private partnerships led by entrepreneurial state agencies and state-owned companies, it is also involved in production, trade and finance. In the latter case, the state manipulates the distribution, and its revenue consists not only of land rent but also of profit. Based on Marx’s analysis of the total circuit of capital, which does not include the forms of state involvement, the article attempts to elucidate contemporary transformations in the state-capital relationship in the development of public land. It claims that the new government strategies aim to address problems of capital accumulation and state finance through land development. The article is based on an analysis of official data on the practices and revenue of three state agencies engaged in land privatisation and development in Turkey.