Relocation from an inner-city neighborhood to peripheral mass housing: from Kadifekale to Uzundere, İzmir

Eroğlu, Ensarı
As neoliberal urbanism spreads into the world urban authorities direct investment into the real estate market and accelerate the commodification of land in order to attract global capital and bolster economic competitiveness. While market forces became the main actor of urban transformation in the Global North, the state took this role in the Global South by urban renewal programs. Slum dwellers in the Global South that compose an important part of the urban poor are hit by urban transformation projects as the dilapidated innercity areas became the hot point of capitalist accumulation by offering significant rent gaps for real estate market. Turkey’s recent experience in squatter settlements provides illustrative lessons about the impact of urban transformation on the urban poor. Within this context, this thesis inquires how urban transformation projects change the livelihood of urban poor and impact the urban poverty dynamics in Turkey based on the Kadifekale Urban Transformation Project (KUTP) held in Izmir. The aim of the KUTP was to resettle the right holders of demolished properties in Kadifekale that was an inner-city squatter settlement into Uzundere Mass Housing Complex, an area in the periphery of Izmir. As recent studies have been critical about the urban transformation projects that relocate residents of squatter settlements into mass housing estates revealing that they enable displacement and dispossession as a result of forced relocation and the imposition of homeownership with long-term mortgage loans on the urban poor, it was interesting to study a case from Izmir that is known for its social democrat municipality governments. Therefore, in order to detect the impact of the KUTP on the urban poor, 39 interviews with semi-structured questions have been conducted and the planning and implementation process of the KUTP and life of resettled people in Uzundere has been observed. This study demonstrates that the KUTP brought about a differentiation between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ especially in case of the poor who feel now an increased stress to afford housing expenses and maintain their housing. Low-income residents are made consumers of the privatized land market and involved in the scheme of homeownership. Moreover, low-income residents, particularly those who feel under pressure of housing stress and of immobility in their new environment due to the peripheralization, explain their feeling of socio-spatial exclusion.
Citation Formats
E. Eroğlu, “Relocation from an inner-city neighborhood to peripheral mass housing: from Kadifekale to Uzundere, İzmir,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2019.