A review of urban transformation approaches: the case of Çay, Çilek and Özgürlük neighborhoods, Mersin.

Büyük, Hazel Özg
The main purpose of this study is to discuss the approaches of the central and local governments in Turkey to the issue of urban transformation based on the example cases of Çay, Çilek, and Özgürlük neighborhoods in line with the argument that cities must be planned through local decision-making processes. In contrast to the powers granted to local governments in the 1980s, the central government began to take more part in the urban processes as of the 2000s. With increasing powers granted to Mass Housing Administration (TOKİ) as a representative of the central government, the number of urban transformation projects has increased. However, urban problems increased and local governments and urbanites did not have chance to take part in the process of the urban transformation projects. In this context, projects by TOKİ and Akdeniz Municipality planned to be carried out in Çay, Çilek, and Özgürlük neighborhoods in Mersin are selected and examined. In addition, three law suits of Akdeniz Municipality are highlighted and the importance of the demand to voice by the local governments is emphasized. Based on the study findings, it is observed that project areas are chosen because of their location, to generate profits and prestigious areas. With all these considered, it is a clear necessity that under the leadership of local governments, transformation projects that give significance to the local dynamics and their relationship with its surrounding as well as aiming the production of new dwelling units which the lower-income group can afford, should be designed.