11 November 2013

Citizenship, minorities and the struggle for a right to the city in Istanbul

Citizenship, minorities and the struggle for a right to the city in Istanbul

Citizenship, minorities and the struggle for a right to the city in Istanbul

Gülçin Erdi Lelandaisa*
pages 817-836

Publishing models and article dates explained
Received: 24 Oct 2011
Accepted: 29 May 2012
Published online: 09 Nov 2013


Globalization is generating new forms of citizenship that often go beyond the institutional perception of social identity. These new forms of citizenship are developed in a scalable way to a greater extent than rights and obligations, and are entirely managed by the citizens themselves. To demonstrate empirical support for this issue, the case of minority communities in Turkey constitutes one of the most relevant examples, since citizenship in this country has long been associated with an idea of political loyalty and total allegiance to the nation-state. The main purpose of this article is to show how urban space and urban protest allow minorities to find alternative forms of expression for their collective identity, and to create a new understanding of citizenship beyond the classical definition, being based instead on institutional representation. The aim of this research is to examine the process of urban transformation in Istanbul, how this phenomenon shapes the structure of cities and how it gives rise to social resistance and protest, especially in neighborhoods housing minority communities. In this context, the article focuses on planning movements in Turkey through a comparative study of two urban planning projects and the citizens' protests against them.

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