The Making of a Totalitarian Surveillance Machine: Surveillance in Turkey Under AKP Rule

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Ozgun Topak


This article examines surveillance initiatives under the AKP rule in Turkey (2002-present). The AKP had first tested and perfected surveillance methods, including wiretapping, internet surveillance and surveillance by collaborator-informant networks, over its key opponents and dissidents to capture the state apparatus and later applied similar methods to govern the entire society. In the aftermath of the 2013 Gezi protests, surveillance began to have a mass character, even though targeted surveillance practices continued. Fearful of another popular public revolt, the AKP established a mass surveillance mechanism and empowered it by new amendments to security and communication laws, to pre-empt and suppress public dissent. The recent state of emergency measures following the failed coup attempt in July 2016 represented a further drift towards totalitarian surveillance. The personal liberties were suspended and the state of exception became a permanent condition.

Article Details

Author Biography

Ozgun Topak, York University

Assistant Professor, Criminology
Department of Social Science
York University


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