A Divided Capital: Residential Segregation In Ankara



Turkey has undergone large-scale structural changes in social, political, and economic spheres in the 2000s. In the changing political climate of the 2000s, not only social and political geographies, but also residential patterns of the cities have been subject to abrupt changes. The development of the construction sector reached a speed never seen before in the country’s urbanisation history. Growing numbers of transformation and renewal projects took place mainly in the older and historical central areas and former gecekondu sites of many greater cities. The relationship of the new “upper” and “lower” classes both with the rest of society and the city has also radically changed. But, despite the dynamism of this new era, our knowledge about the extent of this transformation process is still relatively poor. Our knowledge on the bases, the scale and possible impacts of this transformation is still limited and partial. On these grounds, this article attempts to understand the roots of this transformation process in the year of 2000 through socio-economic residential segregation in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara, where this transformation process is heavily felt. It is claimed that as one of the most debated issues in Turkish public agenda, examining segregation in analytical ways can provide useful insights and valuable clues as to understanding the socio-economic structure of the cities. The findings of the study show that Ankara is a highly divided city in socio-economic lines and the urban dynamics of the recent years are highly correlated with the characteristic divisions of the city. The study, in this sense, not only provides an extended look into the segregation dynamics of the city, but also sheds light on "the roots" of this active and dynamic period of the 2000s, and thereby reveals the last picture of the city before the great transformation.

Key words: Socio-economic segregation, residential segregation, status groups, transformation, Ankara.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4305/metu.jfa.2016.1.10


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