Presentation on theme: "The Military Intervention: 27 May 1960 and its aftermath (1960-1971) W 4."— Presentation transcript:
The Military Intervention: 27 May 1960 and its aftermath (1960-1971) W 4
The 1961 Constitution which ironically came into effect in the aftermath of a coup d’etat was the most liberal constitution of the Turkish Republic. It was the fundamental law of Turkey from 1961 to 1982. It was introduced following the 1960 coup d'état, replacing the earlier Constitution of 1924. It was approved in a referendum held on 9 July 1961, with 61.7% of the nation voting in favor.
The 1961 constitution brought novelties including defining and securing basic rights and freedoms, protecting national treasures, mentioning of terms such as social state, social justice and human dignity in the text and the founding of a senate, the National Security Council, or MGK; the State Planning Organization, or DPT, and the Constitutional Court.
The period between 1960 and 1980 is also significant as Turkey introduced planned economics or the Import Substitution Industrialisation model. What was the importance of this period in contemporary Turkish politics? What are the links between the inherent dynamics of this model and the two military interventions of 1971 and 1980?
What is ISI? ISI can be defined as protecting the industry in order to establish an industrial sector. Since competition with the international capital is out of question, only the domestic industrial sectors will be developed. Implementing ISI does not mean that direct foreign capital investment will be opposed. It neither means that domestic economy’s integration with the world economy will be severed. In fact ISI is dependent on the import of capital goods as well as the raw materials and the intermediate goods. The potential volume of the industrial production becomes dependent on the potential volume of the imports that constitute the input for industrial production.
In this model, technology, capital goods (goods used in the production of other goods or commodities. Capital goods include factories, machinery, tools, equipment) and inputs were imported and the final product was domestically produced. Finding foreign exchange has been the significant determinant for the sustainability of this strategy because the ISI was dependent on the import of technology, primary and intermediary inputs. These contradictions of the system became more visible with the crisis that hit the world economy in the 1970s, which led to an abandonement of the ISI in 1980.
Planning was the central pillar of this system. Yet planning was not seen as something peculiar to socialism. The Turkish bureucracy which engaged in planning economy under the auspices of the military saw the state sector and the private sector complementary rather than mutually exclusive and thus antagonistic.
Development plans envisaged a mixed economic framework in which the interests of the private sector was served by the services and production provided by public enterprises.
In the new period that started, Turkey was still dependent on imports for almost all industrial goods apart from processed foodstuffs, textiles and iron and steel: almost all consumer durables had to come from abroad. Therefore, there was a deliberate attempt during the period 1963-73 to use trade policy to promote import-substituting industrialization in which heavy reliance was placed on controlling imports through prohibitions.
This era is also remarkable for it signifies the beginning of Turkey’s relationship with the European Economic Community (EEC) which later evolved into the European Union. Although Menderes government applied for an associate membership in the European Economic Community (EEC) in late 1950s, EEC only granted this membership to Turkey under the Ankara Agreement of 1963 following lengthy negotiations.
This agreement, which was put into effect in December 1964, was a stage by stage integration process towards eventual full membership in the EC. The process was to start with preparations for lowering of trade barriers and at later stages allow for free mobility of labor between Turkey and the Community. Due to Turkey’s Import Substitution Industrialisation Model (hereafter ISI) policies, there was not much change in its economic relations with the EC during the 1960s. Turkey’s trade flows with Europe and the rest of the world were largely unchanged in this period.
As the ISI was built on a protection strategy of the local industry, creating an internal market became imperative. The manufacture industry that was constructed in the 1930s by the state and the private sector, constituted the technological support and entrepreneurs needed for the ISI.
The State Economic Enterprises (SEE), which aimed on the one hand to provide industry with cheap inputs and on the other hand provide cheap consumption goods for the wage earners, contributed in the profits of the industry by keeping the labour costs and price of the inputs low. Accumulation in the agriculture sector that started in the 1950s was another factor that contributed in the development of an internal market.
In this respect, an important product of the ISI turned out to be the organised working class. The ISI necessitated consumers with sufficient discretionary income and wage levels became an instrument of simulating the internal demand.
Yet it was not only the internal dynamics of the ISI that led to the rise of an organised working class. The 1961 Constitution provided the legal framework for the working classes to establish their own economic and political organisations, albeit within certain limitations. The Unions Law issued in 1963 brought the right to union for all working people. This law also provided a relative freedom in terms of the union’s relations with politics. The unions are permitted to become a pressure group in the political arena without however, having any organic relations with the political parties.
Consequently, the real wages increased significantly every year in the sectors where the workers were organised. Workers were organised best in these large scale sectors that used modern technology and mostly collaborated with foreign capital. These new sectors permitted the working class to organize and voice their demands, in order to integrate them to the system both politically and by making them an important component of the internal market.
On the contrary, workers who worked in small-scale industries could not benefit from the rights that were gained as a result of unionization. They had no right to strike, no right to collective bargaining, and in some cases the employers tried to omit their social insurance.
The most important characteristic of the ISI was the creation of an industrial bourgeoisie. The big bourgeoisie that flourished in this era was either monopolist or oligopolistic. In the absence of external competition, the big bourgeoisie enjoyed the benefits of protection. The profit margin was high due to both the prevention of competition and the establishment of monopolies or oligopolies in the internal market. The big bourgeoisie also benefited from the subvention programs. These subventions enabled the big bourgeoisie to benefit from low priced inputs, low- cost credits and tax returns.
The most important manifestation of the increasing power of the big bourgeoisie is the foundation of TÜSİAD in the year 1971. The big industrialists could afford more liberal economic measures and a less protected economy. They sought a higher share of scarce foreign exchange and credits to finance their large-scale operations. Unlike the small industrialists they could afford higher wages. Because they were engaged in the production of durable consumer goods they preferred levels of income that could support increasing internal demand. Lower wages would threaten the domestic market on which they were dependent to sell their goods.
The period that started with the 1960 intervention became the stage for intensifying class struggle that reached a pinnacle in the late 1970s. 1960s were the beginning of a process in which the working class started to acquire a political consciousness and raised not only economic demands but social and political demands as well. Türkiye İşçi Partisi (TİP) (TLP) was established after 1960 coup and the party benefited from the support of growing student population and the growing industrialized proletariat from mid 1960s onwards.
The most important development in this respect is the establishment of DİSK- Devrimci İşçi Sendikaları Konfederasyonu- (Revolutionary Workers Union Confederation). DİSK was established in 1967 by a group of unions which withdrew from Türk-İş, the only workers confederation of the day.
In contradiction to Türk-İş’s ineffective and at times conformist position, DİSK developed an active, militant struggle that put forward the class interests in 1968-1970. Although there was an effort to prevent its organisation in the public sector, it increasingly became organised in the important workplaces in the private sector
This period also witnessed the flowering of extremist right wing and left wing groups in the permissive environment of 1960 Constitution. These groups later became responsible for inflicting political violence which led to the death of thousands of people. Especially from the end of 1968 onwards and increasingly during 1969 and 1970 the violence of the Left was met and surpassed by violence from the militant right, notably Türkeş’s Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi (MHP) (NAP) and its commandos.
By early 1971 the government, weakened by defections, seemed to have become paralysed. It was powerless to act to curb the violence on the campuses and in the streets and could not hope to get any serious legislation on social or financial reform passed in the assembly.
This was the situation when, on 12 March 1971 the chief of the general staff handed the prime minister a memorandum, which really amounted to an ultimatum by the armed forces. It demanded that a strong and credible government be formed which would be able to end the ‘anarchy’ and carry out reforms ‘in a Kemalist spirit’. If the demand were not met, the army would ‘exercise its constitutional duty’ and take over power itself. The parliament was not dissolved but the elected government in power was replaced with an appointed one, and the declaration of martial law provided the means for exercising repression.