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The Capitalist Political Economy and Transformation of Public Spaces: The Case of Gençlik Parkı, Ankara

This paper explores the dialectical relationship between the Turkish political economy and the physical form and use of Gençlik Parkı (Youth Park) in Ankara. The spatiotemporal analysis starts with the establishment of Gençlik Parkı in 1923 when the park was created to be an intermediary between early republican ideals and society, and ends with the commodification of the park that transformed it into a quasi-public exclusive space under Islamic neoliberalism. It is demonstrated that the historical evolution of capitalist political economy in Turkey produced different patterns of exclusion on the basis of culture, economic power and political stance when changes in the usage and physical form of Gençlik Parkı are taken into consideration.