Turkish Penal Politics within Biopolitics: Changes and Continuities since the 2000s


The Turkish criminal justice system has undergone significant reforms since the early 2000s. Probation services and addiction treatment centres have followed the legislative changes. Prisons have changed through centralization and securitization processes and improved in terms of prisoners’ rights with an increase in the availability of prison space. These developments have impacted positively on the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. In the last years, however, prison administrations have been struggling with overcrowding problems alongside the bottlenecks in judicial cases. It is true that Turkish penal politics has been shaped around its will to protect first and foremost the sovereign power of the state. I further argue that the prison regime has transformed in such an efficient way that its governance corresponds both to transformations in the neoliberalizing political economy and the state’s will to consolidate its own sovereign power and security.  There is a convergence of increased securitization in crime control with a neoliberal trend and sovereign state’s own security.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i20398573v6n2p327

Keywords: Turkish criminal justice system, Turkish prisons, securitization, social control


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