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Secondary Cities of Europe: The Case of Regional Industrial Development in Turkey


This project will investigate the interaction between Turkey's accession to the European Union (EU) and industrial transformation of the EU with a focus on Turkey’s three developing cities: Denizli, Kayseri, and Gaziantep. The Customs Union Agreement of 1995 between EU and Turkey generated a massive growth in Turkey’s industrial exports. Although Denizli, Kayseri, and Gaziantep are not located within the older industrial regions of the country, they managed to surpass national growth rates within this period. Their performance signifies a regional redistribution of industries and justifies the following research question: How has the accession process since 1995 been shaping the regional distribution of manufacturing industries in Turkey? The project will focus on national, local, and enterprise-level dynamics respectively:

1) Changes in National Policymaking: This phase will be composed of interviews with government agencies and non-governmental organizations and the analysis of the legal documents and secondary data in Ankara; capital of Turkey. The aim is to illustrate the changes in industrial policymaking since 1995.

2) Local Industrial and Urban Developments: The field research in Denizli, Gaziantep, and Kayseri will focus on migration, capital movements, urban transformation, and agglomeration effects since 1995. The aim is to analyze the local interactions between accession-related policies and industrial dynamics.

3) Enterprise-Level Dynamics: Company monographs will focus on the growth strategy of selected enterprises, changes in their shop floor relations, and profile of their customers and subsidiaries. The aim is to investigate the impact of accession-related policymaking on the performance of industrial enterprises in these cities.

The project findings will illustrate the actual consequences of the current industrial policymaking in Turkey at the local level and make policy suggestions for an effective EU-wide industrial and innovation strategy.

Call for proposal

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Dogol caddesi
06100 Tandogan ankara

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Erdem Denk (Dr.)
EU contribution
No data