Luttes Contre La Transformation Urbaine Des Quartiers De Gecekondu D'istanbul: Etude De Cas Du Quartier Kazimkarabekir

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2010-06

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Galatasaray Üniversitesi

Abstract

The urban transformation shows its effects world wide, and changes spatial and social conditions of cities, but Turkey faces the worst outcomes of this planning system. In every city, urban transformation projects mainly improve the life conditions of upper classes , albeit we can notice some practices focusing on low classes, as well.However in Turkey, the urban transformation projects not only lacks any democratic, participative or social, goals; but also tries to gain the most possible profit for the private sector. As a result, , we see urban social movements protesting this uninclusive planning system in Turkey, especially in Istanbul.Since urban transformation projects in Turkey mainly focus on the areas that experience the property or neighborhood issues, the ghetto affected the moost by these projects. Taken into account that ghetto inhabitants are experienced with urban social protests life-long; the most powerful disapproval against the urban transformation projects are observed in these kinds of neighborhoods.Ghetto inhabitants describe urban transformation projects as “non participative”, “non focused on inhabitants” and they oppose against them in two different ways, informal or juridical. These movements become more and more visible in urban Istanbul.In this context, the aim of this study is to analyze the urban social movements in Istanbul raised against the urban transformation. Although the opposing groups are composed of many nongovernmental organizations, university students, academics, international organizations, I rather focus on residents who are influenced directly by these projects and concentrate on organized societal movements of the city inhabitants. Briefly, the ghetto inhabitants are the research object of this dissertation.During my study, I addressed some questions such as “Who are against the urban transformation?, Why are they against it?, What are the aims of opponents?, How can they oppose? , What do they do to institutionalize their opposition in neighborhoods?” and exposed the features of anti – urban transformation behaviors in slums in İstanbul. While answering these questions, I posed some hypotheses and try to prove them:-The slum residents opposing urban transformation have been trying to protect their lifestyle. - The residents cannot be called as conservatives, since they are open to new ideas and to work with other groups.-They tend to form neighborhood associations and become organized under one roof.So in slums, there have been seen a common attitude, which can be described as not constant, not having a particular leader, dominant ideology, or coordination . This study aims to analyze this new behavior, which is against urban decisions.But as Castells says: “While researching the movements against the urban planning systems, considering them only as some consumer reactions is not enough. We also have to analyze the relation between social contradictions and their movements’ aim.” So, we can say that in this dissertation, movements against urban planning system will be investigated by correlating their social conditions and aims. Urban social movement will be examined through Istanbul. Choosing Istanbul has some several important reasons. First of all, Istanbul is a strategic hub, which has been among major global cities, and bears the characteristics of global cities. Locally and internationally it should be described as a sign post for capital hosts, attracting the attention of fund groups.Istanbul is the city, where migrants try to survive or habitants who were pushed out of capitalist system because of their ethnic origin, religion or sect. They can only riddance by their social network or standing together.İstanbul stands out with these characteristiscs, which make the community more ‘free’ but on the other hand, ‘conflicted. The fact that Istanbul possesses both the government constraint and the counterview makes it one of the most convenient cities for the study. The general info, which was obtained from all of the ghettos in İstanbul, ends with concurrentdetailed research in Kazımkarabekir district in Sarıyer .The reasons to choose Kazımkarabekir can be listed as follows:-The district, which is composed of many ethnic groups, has their own associations-The relationships in the neighbourhood are very strong.-Socialist groups are replaced with ideological groups -District is located on the sea side of Sarıyer, which is one of the attractions of high-income group.-Although there have not seen any ongoing urban plans around the quarters of Kazımkarabekir , experiences gained from other ghettos made , the district community alert and already rised an opposition against urban transformation.This dissertation comprised of three mains chapters. Our first chapter includes an historical context about Turkish planning systems, second is about the urban social movement especially against the planning decisions and the final chapter produces our research results about Kazımkarabekir neighborhood making a synthesis with the previous two chapters. In the first chapter, primarily emphasize on Turkey urbanization, describing it informal and analyzing in 4 periods. First period of urbanization, is a result of the formation of nation-state; and this is an important part of modernization of Turkey. Second period begins after the Second World War, and indicates the beginning of the neo-liberalization of the state. Third is the fastest urbanization period of Turkey, in this period we appear a huge increase on urban rents. In that the final period of the urbanization beginning in the late 90’. This period changes all the urban areas and social structures. Regeneration and transformation projects cause the gentrification.The second chapter of study focuses on the sharp shift of informal urbanization process to a capital based urban regeneration. Our new urbanization practice, which is not unique or integral, is now embodied by the value of change. That new urbanization practice had a great reaction of the inhabitants, occasionally demonstrated by serious protests, trials and petitions as well. Even there are several arguments rising from disagreed groups, they present a distinctive overlapping on inequity, the lack of public participation and injustice debates. In respect to this, first of all, the second section theoretically argued the social and urban movement. This debate aimed to reveal how class struggles of a society are turned into urban public movements. Afterwards, similar protests against public interferences of different societies from all over the world are examined by aiming to find the common characteristics of the acts. Lastly, determinations about ghetto neighborhoods’ historical experiments of urban actions and current appearance of Istanbul are taken into consideration. The section includes a table of the group of actors against urban regeneration that followed by the comments about the ghetto neighborhoods’ actions. In addition to the various of arguments about urban regeneration, there are various of contrary acts. It should be admitted that the struggle of ghetto neighborhoods are intended on the right of conserving the housing and the way of life.In this regard, commitment to the neighborhood, having good affairs with the neighbors, countrymen networks and promises of the urban municipality are the important factors that affect the power of the resistance. The character of the campaign can be determined by the other effective factors, such as ethnical and religious balance, political view and the activities of the dominant political groups within the neighborhood. The third chapter that consists of three sections focuses on the field study of the Kazimkarabekir neighborhood. In the first section, the physical and social characteristics are detailed. Especially, investments in the neighborhood within the last 10 years targeting high income leveled residents and the factory shut downs are listed. On the other hand, planning process is checked and the neighborhood relevant plans are examined.In the second section, resistance movement and its historical basis are examined; social solidarity networks and demand based movements are presented. Thus, the way of the inhabitants ‘neighborhood’ perceptions, such as political view, ethnical identity or generation difference, are defined. In the last section, inner dynamics and public relations of the neighborhood union are examined. The opinion of the local habitants about the union and the institutionalization of the movement are stated.Nonetheless, according to different perceptions of neighborhoods, political views or ethnical relations and generation contrasts, manners of claiming neighborhood has marked. At the last chapter, internal and external relationships of neighborhood association is studied, as well as the thoughts of the neighborhood inhabitants about the association and the institutionalization of the formation has been emphasized. In conclusion, it would not be wrong to say the activity in slum areas is related with the previous slum movements or maybe continuation of them. However the new- slum movement is being shaped, in a way that inhabitants utter their demands freely, concerning about environmental, cultural issues or other neighborhoods. It is difficult to say a movement which contains plenty of different communities has a strong organization structure. Still, one of the features of the slum movement is, in an urgent case, whichever political view people support or whatever ethnical identity they belong, people take part in that movement.

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Keywords

transformation urbaine, mouvements sociaux, movements socials, urban transformation, urban regeneration, gecekondu, squatter, Turkey, İstanbul

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