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Local dynamics in the process of conservation and restoration projects in Kastamonu

Kes, Aysu
The aim of this thesis is to understand the local participation dynamics in Turkey, especially in the cities with small populations. The conservation and restoration projects in Kastamonu were chosen as the case in order to achieve this aim. These projects include the restoration and reuse of historical/traditional houses in Turkey. The research was focused on the stakeholders in relation to these projects in order to be able to examine the social processes with regard to the local participation in Kastamonu. The major data collection method of this research was interviews with three groups of stakeholders. These stakeholders were the decision- makers, the owners of the houses, and the local people. For the research, 41 interviews were conducted in November 2004 in Kastamonu. The interviews included questions with regard to perceptions of the respondents about the issues of participation and decision- making dynamics, as well as the conception of sense of place, through the conservation and restoration processes. All these interviews were recorded and transcribed for discourse analysis. There are three major findings of this thesis. Firstly, the stakeholders do not have a consistent perception of what participation is. This leads to the second finding that the level of interaction and the level of participation are low among the stakeholders. Thirdly, the conservation and restoration projects in Kastamonu are perceived as economic investments by the vast majority of people. The heritage and cultural value of the houses are less frequently referred to.