The Re-Production Of The Historical Center Of İstanbul In 2000s: A Critical Account On Two Projects In Fener - Balat

Aysev Deneç, Evren
Contemporary city is a multiplicity having social, political, cultural and economic projections. Production of urban space involves various mechanisms in which different interest groups play different roles in accordance with their identity, responsibility and agenda. In that sense, contemporary city is a ground of collision of conflicting interests that produce and transform urban space. Controlling urban space is a power struggle among different actors with varying agenda; constituting the basis of physical and socio-economic urban conversion (Keil, 2002). In the process of urban contradiction and change; social classes, capital accumulation and urban governments are three basic components with a fundamental role (Şengül, 2009). İstanbul has currently become the ‘stage’ of extensive urban space production and re-production processes; almost becoming a construction site in itself. The urban boundaries extend on a daily basis, while numerous transformation projects within the city center raise crucial questions. The cityscape is subjected to critical interventions that aim to re-shape some of the major cultural, historical and natural landmarks of the city. In short, İstanbul is currently undergoing a series of mega scale operations that will change the fabric of the city irreversibly. The mainstream space production processes in the İstanbul of 2000s are shaped by the neoliberal urban policies adopted by large scale capital, central and local governments that work hand in hand. In order to comprehend these processes, it is crucial to develop an understanding of the current urban political climate. This paper aims to take a critical look into the urban space production mechanisms of İstanbul’s historical residential center through an in depth comparative analysis of two consecutive projects that have taken place at the Golden Horn during the 2000s; having acutely different social, spatial and economical approaches and agendas; namely the Fener Balat Rehabilitation Project (FBRP) initiated by the European Union (EU) and The Fener, Balat, Ayvansaray Urban Renewal Project (FBAURP) initiated by Fatih Municipality (FM). Within the scope of paper; firstly an overview of the urban political dynamics of İstanbul is presented. Secondly, a brief discussion on the geographical context of the projects is introduced. Then, a discussion on the urban space production mechanisms of 2000s İstanbul is delivered through the investigation of two projects stated above. Finally, concluding remarks are presented.


The limits to urban revolution: the transformation of Ankara, Turkey, under the Justice and Development Party
Bayırbağ, Mustafa Kemal; Schindler, Seth; Penpecioglu, Mehmet (2022-09-01)
Contemporary urbanization is characterized by the incorporation of historically isolated places into vast urbanized networks that are planetary in scope. We underscore the political processes and actors that instantiate urban transformation. Drawing on Lefebvre's writings on urban revolutions - in plural - we show that he considered comprehensive urban transformation the result of multiple place-based revolutions that are typically driven by a state. We then present Turkey as an example in which the Justice...
A Critical evaluation of the urban transformation in Çukurambar, since the late 1980s
Ajazi, Gerta; Sargın, Güven Arif; Meij, Agnes van der; Department of Architecture (2015)
The primary purpose of this study is to put forward a critical examination on the urban transformation of Çukurambar district in the last three decades, under the forces of changing political, administrative, economic and social structure of the city. The fragmented structure of the neighborhood which resulted from the insufficient policies regarding the planning procedures in Turkey, is an inevitable problem which should be dealt with and the urban renewal plans prepared for Çukurambar should be investigat...
Turkish Urban Professionals And The Politics Of Housing, 1960-1980
Batuman, Bülent (Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, 2006)
As Castells (1977) has argued, a major dynamic of urban politics is the specific forms of social struggle generated in the city around urban services that are consumed collectively. In Turkey, similar to other Third World countries experiencing rapid urbanization after the Second World War, the most crucial question regarding such services was the chronic problem of housing and squatters. This article will analyze the politics of the housing question between 1960 and 1980. As will be shown below, the politi...
Urbanization Processes of Northern Istanbul in the 2000’s: Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and the Northern Marmara Highway
Aysev, Evren (Middle East Technical University Faculty of Architecture, 2022-6)
Istanbul of the 2000’s is a striking example of urbanization through mega projects. It is clear that the mega infrastructure projects that have come to the fore in the North of Istanbul, especially in the last decade, will have large-scale and irreversible effects on the ecological systems and growth dynamics of the city. This study focuses on Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and Northern Marmara Highway (YSS-NMH), being the first of the mega projects aiming to move the transportation infrastructure and center of ...
A research on resilience of urban public spaces: the case of Güvenpark, Ankara
Tümer Ergün, Ece; Büyükcivelek, Ahmet Burak; Department of City Planning (2020-10-23)
Cities are constantly changing and developing within the framework of social, economic, technological and political contexts. Therefore, it is increasingly common to accept cities as dynamic and complex systems instead of predictable systems. The strong relationship between urban planning and resilience has found itself in many different areas in the literature, for example, flexible planning strategies have been proposed in the urban planning literature to combat chaotic processes and sudden changes. Altho...
Citation Formats
E. Aysev Deneç, “The Re-Production Of The Historical Center Of İstanbul In 2000s: A Critical Account On Two Projects In Fener - Balat,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 163–188, 2014, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: