Social Policy of Urban Transformation: Social Housing Policies in Turkey from the 1980s to Present
This thesis analyzes the post-2000 policies of social housing in Turkey with reference to urban transformation and gentrification attempts on the one hand and social policies directed at the redefinition of the position of the poor in urban society on the other hand. The aim is to historicize the current developments taking place in the low-income housing in the context of post-1980 capitalist urbanization with a special emphasis on the relation between the formation of the squatter settlements (gecekondus) and state regulation through different legal and institutional frameworks in time. The legal framework of ongoing gecekondu transformation projects crystallize the embedded intentions and mentality of the new strategy of the state with the peculiarities of the Turkish case like the specific role of informality, the upward mobility motivation of the gecekondu residents, their articulation with the urban life in one way or another as well as the state’s reluctance for regulating theissue through formal housing and preferring to set the terms of the bargaining with the gecekondu residents by means of electoral politics and reconstruction amnesties in a social and economic setting of free market in the post-1980 period. The main argument of this thesis is that the current policies of the state regarding the transformation of the gecekondu areas reflect a radical change in the patterns of regulating the urban poor through housing measures different than the previous periods with implications relevant to the overall organization of the urban space in the post-2000 period.