Telecommunications policy and the emerging information society in Turkey : an analysis within the context of the EU's telecom and information society policies
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For the past decade, a significant amount of academic work has been dedicated to arguments surrounding globalization, the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and the idea of the “information society” (e.g. Brown, 2001; Castells, 1997; Dutton, 1996; Garnham, 2000; Mansell, 2000; Stolfi and Sussman, 2001). The validity of these concerns has been aptly illustrated by the European Union’s and the United States’ vigorous telecommunications and information society policies. In this dissertation I analyze, from a telecommunications policy perspective, the situation of Turkey regarding the liberalization of the national telecommunications sector, and I illuminate the steps taken towards the creation of an information society, in view Turkey’s position as an EU candidate country. The point of departure for this project is that, in an increasingly globalized and regionalized (i.e. the EU) environment, politicians formulate their telecommunications and information society policies within an international and global framework, with national interests at stake. Despite growing pressure from the EU Commission on Turkish authorities to expedite the process of telecoms liberalization, and despite Turkish efforts, marked by such initiatives such as E Turkey, to catch up with the EU IST policy context, I propose that national specificities in the form of power relations are the primary determinants that shape the IST field in Turkey today. Historically situated relations between the state and the private sector, and the individual and institutional power struggles that surround the issues of telecoms liberalization and the development of information society, mark the political economy of ISTs in Turkey.