Urbanization And Urbanism

Authored by: Tahire Erman


Print publication date:  June  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415558174
eBook ISBN: 9780203118399
Adobe ISBN: 9781136309649


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Turkey’s urbanization started in the post-World War II era. “Over 3.3 million people were added to the urban population during the 1950s, more than twice as many as in the previous quarter century” (Danielson and Keles¸, 1985: 27). This “rapid urbanization” brought major transformations of society, challenging the ideals of the modernization project of the Republican elite; it introduced new problems and challenges prevail today, albeit changed in their nature. These challenges affected various aspects of society, ranging from housing to job markets, from cultural hierarchies to politics, and from rule of law and private property to land rent. “Unregulated and unauthorized housing and job markets” and “unplanned urbanization,” along with “populist politics,” “rurality in the urban,” and “invasion of land” came to be the elements of the discursive production of urbanization in the Turkish context. Accordingly, the “integration”/“assimilation” of rural migrants into urban society, their “illegal” (yet sometimes legitimate) gecekondus, the rent appropriation from gecekondu land, the bargaining power of gecekondu residents with politicians, and their arabesk culture came to be the main problems identified in the Turkish urbanization process, reflecting the top-down approach of the urban elite.

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