The Neoliberal Restructuring of Banks in Turkey, 2001 to Present

Thomas Marois


In Turkey since the 2001 crisis, neoliberal consolidation has brought the concentration of banking assets and intensified market imperatives to bear on the Turkish economy and society. In the process of restructuring, the banks in Turkey (public, private domestic, and foreign) have maintained above average profits. This in turn encouraged the internalization of foreign bank capital. Such restructuring has been supported politically via the internationalization of the state apparatus and by the intensification of labour within the banking sector. While more quantitative in content, the paper draws on the empirical evidence to illustrate the qualitative restructuring of Turkey’s neoliberalised banking sector. In particular, I argue that such restructuring since 2001 has underlying class-based impacts, with financial capital benefitting disproportionally to labour in Turkey. I make this argument by first briefly reviewing the 2001 crisis and state led recovery process in Turkey. Second, I locate Turkey’s banks within the overall financial sector, arguing their continued dominance illustrates a bank-based but market-oriented financial system. Third, in the core of this paper, I detail the structure of Turkey’s banks and the empirical shifts.

Bank - neoliberal transformation - Turkey