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Title: Planning, development and community : transformation of gecekondu settlements in Turkey
Author: Senturk, Burcu
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis aims to investigate changes in gecekondu (slum house) communities through exploring the lives of three generations of rural migrants in Turkey. It suggests that the dynamic relation between their strategies and development policies in Turkey has had a large impact on the urban landscape, urban reforms, welfare policies and urban social movements. I followed qualitative research methodology, and was extensively influenced by feminist theory. Participant observation, in-depth interviews and focus group methods were used flexibly to reflect the richness of gecekondu lives. The data includes 83 interviews, one focus group and my observations in Ege neighbourhood in Ankara. First-generation rural migrants largely relied on kin and family networks and established gecekondu communities which provided them with shelter against the insecurities of urban life and their exclusion from the mainstream. The mutual trust within gecekondu communities was a result of their solidarity and collective struggle to obtain title deeds and infrastructure services. The liberalization of the Turkish economy immediately after the coup d’état in 1980 brought in Gecekondu Amnesties which legalized the gecekondus built before 1985 and fragmented labour market, resulting in a fragmentation among them in terms of gecekondu ownership, types of jobs and the scope of their resources. Since their interests were no longer the same in the face of development policies, their solidarity decreased and collective strategies were replaced by individual tactics. The dissolving of the sense of community was most visible in the area of urban transformation projects, which were based on legal ownership of houses and social assistance, and created new tensions in the 2000s. The younger generation of gecekondu dwellers integrated into city life predominantly through education and employment opportunities in the city. They felt far more a part of the urban economy and considered community ties to be a constraint upon their integration. This study shows that this broke gecekondu people’s ties, which were the basis of their existence.
Supervisor: Rob, Aitken ; Haleh, Afshar Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available