Advocating “Placial Ethics”: The Moral Grammars” of Anti-Hydropower Resistances in the Black Sea Region in Turkey


6 March 2021, Tuesday, 18:00

Starting from the early 2000s anti-hydropower resistances became a significant form of political mobilization that brought together rural inhabitants, urban environmentalist activists and professionals in Turkey. Two dominant scholarly approaches analyzed these countrywide struggles: water rights perspective and environmental movements perspective. Through an analysis of interviews and cultural productions on anti-hydropower resistances, Özlem Aslan argues that anti-hydropower resistances in Turkey need to be approached as place-based struggles and the inhabitants who engage in these resistances need to be analyzed not only as citizens with water rights or environmental concerns but also as people with a say in the spatial interventions occurring in their places. It argues that these resistances redefine placial relations as relations of reciprocity, which lead to a form of placial ethics. Placial ethics here refers to the duty to protect places as a return for the carework they do to keep living beings alive, functioning and flourishing in the context of their fragility.