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Title: Urban renewal projects and dynamics of contention in Istanbul : the cases of Fener-Balat-Ayvansaray and Suleymaniye
Author: Turkmen, Hade
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 0938
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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The main aim of this thesis is to examine urban movements in Istanbul, Turkey. More specifically, the research has two principal objectives: first, to expand the existing conceptual framework of urban movement studies by critically examining the present literature on urban movements and considering people’s experiences in the cities of global South; and second, to make an empirical contribution to the literature on urban movements in general and the developing literature on urban movements in Turkey, in particular by analysing political mobilisation surrounding contested urban regeneration projects in Istanbul, Turkey. The thesis argues that the research framework of current urban movements’ literature is too static and limited to be able to develop a dynamic, relational and comparative approach to the analysis of mobilisation in urban space in different geographies. The case materials presented demonstrate that the political and social relations established between actors of urban politics are enmeshed in a dynamic political process, and that the motivations that inform the development of urban movements can change over time. In addition, the issues causing conflicts and political mobilisation are perceived and experienced differently under different conditions, which results in a diversification of the ways in which mobilisation is pursued. As such, a-priori assumptions about the emergence and goals of political mobilisation in urban space – for example, assumptions that urban movements necessarily are progressive and a part of a wider political agenda – is shown to be inadequate for examining the dynamics of mobilisation in different settings. In developing these theoretical arguments, the research constructs a dynamic relational framework to the analysis of political mobilisation in urban space, contributing in turn to the existing conceptual framework of urban movement and political mobilisation studies. Empirically, these issues were explored through case studies of two urban renewal areas in the historical neighbourhoods of Istanbul, Turkey, using a qualitative Critical Realist methodology. Like many other megacities, Istanbul has experienced an immense process of socio-economic and spatial restructuring in which the state has played a fundamental role. Moreover, in these new urbanisation dynamics, urban renewal projects have become conspicuously contested, leading to mobilisation at a variety of spatial and governmental scales. This thesis focuses on the different responses of local people in two urban renewal areas in order to examine the factors that enable and inhibit mobilisation. Specifically, the research is framed around two contrasting cases: the Fener-Balat-Ayvansaray renewal area, which is taken as a case of political action, and the Suleymaniye renewal area, which is taken as the case of inaction. The research findings show that the intervention of the state is not the only factor causing mobilisation in the localities. Other factors include: the condition of the built environment and the formation of spatial relations in the localities; the condition of the property market and how property owners value their assets in terms of its exchange and use values; the political relations between the state and the residents; social relations within the localities; and the implementation process of the urban renewal projects. These factors are derived from the empirical findings of the research and combined into a dynamic conceptual framework that contributes to reconfiguring existing analyses of urban movements. As such, by its critical relationship to existing urban social movement theory and through its novel methodology, the thesis aims to make significant contributions both to the conceptualisation and empirical analysis of contentious politics in urban space.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DS Asia ; HT Communities. Classes. Races