HISTORY OF CITIES – HERITAGE
– About the recent urban renovations …
“The Turkish governement is implementing urban transformation through sudden, top-down decisions that do not sufficiently account for environmental protection or consultations with citizens. In the process, the population’s leanings are largely ignored, making it impossible to nurture civic consensus on the pace and nature of economic development. (…) Beyond the Taksim (Istanbul) renovation project, what is now criticized is the lack of democratic management of decisions pertaining to new public infrastructure and urban transformation. The Turkish government is being asked to account for the environmental and socioeconomic repercussions of its actions and to give the people a greater voice at the local level in the decisionmaking process.” (Mark Pierini) – Article on Carnegie Europe
A very educational film explains the concept of Ekumenopolis which is currently growing at Istanbul. This is to show a city that is growing very quickly and without limits. Istanbul has increased from one million in 1950 to 15 to 20 million today! This growth is due in large part to a strong rural exodus came from Anatolia, people are attracted by the industrial jobs available. Thus, urban development has achieved rapid and unplanned manner, especially in previously uninhabited areas. The Turkish speak of “gecekondu,” which literally means “built overnight”, but the quality is similar to that of slums. The construction of two bridges over the Bosphorus (1973 and 1988) has further accelerated the movement. It is a urban growth that feeds on itself: to decongest the city centers and new roads are built, but then lead to the development of new buildings. The film shows the example of Ayazma neighborhood has gone from slum away from the urban center of a coveted by developers, following the inauguration of the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in 2002 area. This urbanization has brought with it other problems such as access to water and mobility. (Source: Website turquieeuropeenne) – Intro movie, movie shown at the Urban Social Forum of Naples.
Turkey has experienced the early 1980s, a major rural exodus. All the villagers who have migrated to the cities usually could not afford decent housing. They therefore built temporary shelters in the suburbs shacks without running water or electricity. These slums are characterized by poverty and problems of urban crime. (Source: Habitat for Humanity Turkey)
RIGHT TO HOUSING
Since 1982 – Article 57 of the Constitution:
As part of a plan taking into account the characteristics of cities and environmental conditions, the State shall take appropriate measures to meet the housing needs and also supports the initiatives of collective housing. CETIM (publication COHRE). Recent constitutional amendments (2017) do not appear to have affected this article.
Turkey continued to host one of the largest refugee populations in the world, with more than 3 million registered Syrian refugees alone, but risks of forcible return persisted. No resolution was found for the situation of people displaced within the southeast of the country. (Amnesty International Report 2017-2018)
The Government has plans to renovate the old urban districts or in poor condition. This is mainly slum neighborhoods such. A place to build new clean apartments with playgrounds for children. If some people are in favor of these changes, the original residents are therefore victims of gentrification.
(see also the introductory part of urban renewal in Istanbul)
Some videos to better understand the situation and the current resistance movement :
- Housing and Land Rights Violation Database in each country (Housing and Land Network): http://hlrn.org/welcome_violation.php#.VD-IVCi7_vQ
- Zero Evictions Campaign (International Alliance of Inhabitants): http://www.habitants.org/zero_evictions_campaign
- Data sets on agricultural land grabbing in the world (GRAIN): https://www.grain.org/bulletin_board/entries/4429-new-data-sets-on-land-grabbing
- The Online Public Database on Land Deals – Global Observatory (Land Matrix): http://landmatrix.org/en/
SOME INTERESTING PRACTICES
Social and economical aspects
QUALITY OF HOUSING
The outrageous and illegal housing : In view of the housing situation in urban areas, there is a very large proportion of unfit dwellings in Turkey. Therefore, climate disasters (such as the 1999 earthquake by 20,000 dead and a half million homeless) are terribly devastating impact on this type of habitat. (Source: Habitat for Humanity Turkey)
INFORMAL HOUSING / SLUM / HOMELESS
ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
Cultural aspects – Religious – Symbolic
Bibliography & Sitography
MAJOR PROBLEMS BY CIVIL SOCIETY
CLAIMS MAJOR BY CIVIL SOCIETY
A platform of Istanbul Urban Movements claims its right to the city :
We, as NGOs, neighbourhood associations, grassroots, urban movemens and platforms plus academicians, activists, architects, planners, legal consultants, documentarists, artists, labourers, deputies… from differing political backgrounds, ideologies, and occupations; We, as the signatories to this call, would like to announce our committent henceforth to pursue an organized resistance against urban renewal, gentrification and transformation projects, aiming to turn İstanbul into a brand city catering to global capital and property markets but not to the needs of its citizens. To the document of the platform
CIVIL SOCIETY ACTORS
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY TURKEY = humanitarian non-profit association whose goal is to eradicate poverty in terms of habitat and homelessness. To do this, they build and renovate housing worldwide, offer packages of micro-credit and loans, help to clean up homes, advocate for affordable housing for all. Especially in Turkey, the association promotes housing reconstruction after the terrible earthquake, with special attention to the protection against this type of disaster, while developing environmentally sustainable construction techniques. Internet link – Contact them.
URBAN MOVEMENTS IN ISTANBUL = Facebook