Grassroots resistance against urban renewal : the case of Güzeltepe, İstanbul

Ergin, Nezihe Başak
The aim of this study is to contribute to the urban social movement literature of Turkey which is lacking particularly for “gecekondu resistance” and to reveal and study the gecekondu resistance as a grassroots movement against the demolition of gecekondus, in the name of urban renewal projects in Istanbul, especially since 2004. It also investigates the “urban social movement” concept whose meaning is under discussion in the literature due to its usage in different aspects of resistance in the urban area. The literature review focuses mainly on the production of space, focusing particularly on urban renewal, urban resistance and social movements especially reflecting on the theoretical perspectives of prominent scholars like Lefebvre and Castells. The research focuses on neighborhood resistance in gecekondu areas; however in an attempt to make a categorization of ways of urban resistance in Istanbul. This thesis is based upon the field study pursued in the period between January and October 2006, in Güzeltepe neighborhood, in Eyüp, being a remarkable example of resistance for various reasons which will be elaborated in the thesis. Güzeltepe which is a part of the urban renewal project in Istanbul is investigated with participant observation and in-depth interviews comprising people both participating directly in the resistance and “ordinary” dwellers, who do not have political affiliations. The study is supported by a systematic analysis of representations of gecekondu resistance and its demolition in the Turkish press, from July 2005 until August 2006.


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Citation Formats
N. B. Ergin, “Grassroots resistance against urban renewal : the case of Güzeltepe, İstanbul,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2006.