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The politics of urban planning in Ankara between 1985 and 2005

Şahin, Savaş Zafer
This thesis analyzes the inherent informal political relations embedded in urban planning process in the city of Ankara between 1985 and 2005. It has been argued that, urban planning process is -by nature- a political process and micro level political interactions in urban political sphere can be observed by looking at it. The urban planning process, as a political process interacts with existing political mobilization mechanisms and their spatial reflections. Such an interaction may cause emergence of informal political networks interested in derivation of urban land rent. The emergence, sustenance and persistence of these networks are related with the opportunities and legitimization potential of urban planning process. For the verification of hypothesis of the research the city of Ankara was taken as the subject of case study. A methodology consisting of a two phase research is devised to analyze the nature and the dynamics of these networks In the first phase a conventional statistical analysis the research universe consisting of all the all urban development plans and modifications realized in Ankara between 1985 and 2005 was realized. Then, in the second phase based on the patterns explored in the research universe, a specific example of urban planning process was chosen, which represents the patterns of the research universe. This example, Çayyolu 907 Parcel, then subjected to social network analysis. The results of the research has shown that, when the structure of the local political structure changes altogether as a result of for example local elections, the structure of existing informal political networks and the way they exploit urban land rent changes. In these periods the number of urban development plans and urban development plan modifications increase, while the size of the area covered by these plans tends to decrease and mostly confined to prospective areas in central business district and residential areas. Yet, by the time passes, new and diverse political relations are established congruent with the existing political mobilization mechanisms. This time, although the number of plans decreases, the size of the area covered by plans increase and mostly, vacant land in the fringe of the urban macro form become the target of these networks. Although these networks involve a hierarchy in it, extensive brokerage and patron client relations sustain them.