State-coordinated urban revolution in Turkey

Authors: Seth Schindler*, University of Manchester, Mustafa Bayirbag*, Middle East Technical University
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Political Geography
Keywords: Urban development, Turkey, Ankara
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Diplomat Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


A key component of Turkey’s national development has been to foster sustained urban expansion. This strategy seeks to replace industrialization with urbanization, as the primary engine of Turkey’s economic growth. This development strategy includes mechanisms that (re)distribute urban rent through “solidarity networks,” and as a result it enjoys significant public support and is politically sustainable. In this talk we explore how the political movement (and party) now led by President Erdoğan became successful in institutionalising and harmonising the objectives of transforming cities and (re)distributing urban rents, first at the level of local governments in the mid-1990s, and at the national level from 2002 onwards. Choosing Ankara as a case to study, the talk presents original research and shows how (1) consent among urban residents is secured, (2) this strategy has impacted urban residents, and (3) the limits of this strategy have recently been encountered. We conclude with a speculative assessment of how this development strategy will be impacted by Turkey's current economic woes.

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