Widely applied water governance practices, like the construction of dams, hydroelectricity power plants, irrigation canals, reservoirs, and water infrastructure/sewage systems are globally regarded as technical, expert-oriented and/or scientific issues. They are rhetorically detached from socio-political contexts. Such governance practices are generalised as apolitical models, in which their technocratic and market-driven natures are emphasised. However, their implementation is frequently met with frustration by the local populations, based on the socio-environmental issues that these practices arise. The water governance practices of Turkey are brought into greater focus to assess these policies and their local implications, prepared with an apolitical understanding. Accordingly, this article reviews the historical-discursive processes through which the current water governance practices of Turkey have been shaped, and presents public reactions against these practices. This article applies a political ecology framework to reinforce the concept of environmental justice as the main social challenge to apolitical water governance practices. Keywords: Water governance, political ecology, environmental justice, Turkey

International Journal of Water Governance

Caner Sayan, R. (2016). A Political Ecology of ‘Apolitical’ Water Governance—Lessons Learned from Turkish Experience. International Journal of Water Governance, 2016(4:14), 9–10. doi:10.7564/15-IJWG101