Abstract: 
Environmental and infrastructural transformations in Turkey’s expansive swamps and marshes have unfolded against the backdrop of tightening authoritarian rule and the rise of wetland conservation. Drawing on fieldwork with farmers, scientists, and bureaucrats in two Turkish agrarian deltas, this talk explores how relationships between water, sediment, infrastructure, plants, and animals matter in contemporary Turkey, and what these relationships reveal about the intersection of moral and ecological concerns in the current moment.  The “wetland” emerged as a globally significant scientific category over the course of the 20th century, becoming a key concept within Turkish state-making projects built on attempts to manipulate swampy nature. As transnational science and environmentalism cast the wetland in a starring role, Turkish farmers, scientists, and bureaucrats also drew on wetlands (sulakalanlar) as a novel idiom for claiming divergent ecological futures. I analyze these transformations between humans, non-humans, and their unstable surroundings in Turkey through the concept of moral ecologies—contrasting notions of just relations among people, land, water, infrastructure, animals, and plants. Divergent moral claims about ecology, infrastructure, the livelihood of non-human animals, and traditional agricultural varieties have become central to a Turkish politics of livability. This approach demonstrates how the valuation and governance of non-human creatures and elemental assemblages are not only entangled with human politics: they constitute it.