Alize Arıcan

Urban Transformation in Tarlabasi: Feminist Challenges to Discourses of Securitization

Research Abstract: Alize Arıcan’s dissertation examines the large-scale, state-led urban transformation coupled with small-scale, private urban development is intertwined with gendered discourses of security in the Tarlabaşı neighborhood of Istanbul. Tarlabaşı, despite its close proximity to the city’s touristic center, had a reputation for not being safe, especially for (“good”) women. This reputation has been utilized politically to securitize the neighborhood through surveillance strategies accompanying urban transformation. However, engaging with the quotidian in Tarlabaşı shows that these measures did not necessarily produce the intended effects. Alize’s ethnographic work explores discourses, practices and experiences of women’s security in a transforming neighborhood as an assemblage. Bringing together axes of class, ethnicity, race, mobility, religion, sexuality and migration among many, it asks: What are the gendered discourses being used to justify the neoliberal securitization of neighborhoods? Does urban renewal make neighborhoods safer for women, especially in women’s perceptions? If not, how do women grapple with the multifaceted implications of urban renewal policies and their practice? How can ethnographic work help us explore these issues?

Bio: Alize Arıcan is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is a University Fellow. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University and an M.A. in Anthropology from University of Chicago at Illinois. Her work lies at the intersections of urban transformation, securitization of cities, and multiple productions of gendered meanings of safety. She interrogates these issues through ethnographic methods in Tarlabaşı, a neighborhoods undergoing urban transformation in Istanbul.


Ayşe Nur Akdal

A Data Analysis of Bostancıbaşı Registers of Istanbul in 18th Century

Research Abstract: My study is about market gardens and their gardeners, which were a distinctive part of Ottoman Istanbul until recently. It draws on first and second-hand sources to examine the locations, physical features, and property structures of market gardens together with those who worked in there and how they were organized. Moreover, the study reveals the role and importance of market gardens in the provisioning of the city. Based on archival material, the study describes the urban fabric, the labor structure, and migration with help of visual data. Although the market gardens of Istanbul played an important role in the provisioning of the city, shaped its urban landscape, and provided job opportunities for migrant laborers, they have not received the attention they deserve in Ottoman studies. The foremost goal of the study is to comprehensively document and compile the rich multi-faceted historical data. Another aim is to test two assumptions in the literature on Ottoman history against the historical data, namely, that Istanbul was a “city of consumption,” and that there was essentially a fixed, ethno-religious division of labor in the Empire.

Bio: Ayşe Nur received her BA degree from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Urban and Regional Planning Department in 2012. She finished her MA study in 2016 in Boğaziçi University, Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History by her thesis titled Provisioning the Ottoman Capital: Istanbuls’s Market Gardens between the Seventeenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Her main research interests include urban history, urban rural relations, urban agriculture, geography, and socio economic history.


Can Zeren

Material Political Communication: Propaganda, Urbanism and Cultural Policies in Istanbul

Research Abstract: This study addresses political communication as material and aims to investigate its effects on cultural diversity in built environment regarding the grounds of urban and cultural policies. It develops the idea that the field of political communication should not be limited by media-politicians-citizens triangle. Political communication can occur through buildings, infrastructures, objects, constructions and reconstructions as interventions to urban built environment. Thus, it is also related to urban political ecology and issues on urban commons with the perspective of nature-culture continuum. In this sense, this study grows out of the blend of prior work on propaganda, urban communication, urbanism, architecture and cultural policies and attempts to experientially and empirically understand the main conditions and relational environment of the introduced conception of material political communication. This research will focus on material political communication, its relation to cultural policies and effects of cultural imagination on urban environment, public buildings and transportation infrastructure in Istanbul.

Bio: Can Zeren is currently a PhD candidate in Communication Sciences at Istanbul Bilgi University. He holds a BA degree in Business Administration from Izmir University of Economics. He received his MA degree in Media and Communication Systems from Istanbul Bilgi University and he was a research assistant at the same institution. He was a member of the board of Karşıyaka City Council in Izmir. His main research interests are media ecologies; philosophy of communication; political communication; culture, media and the city, urban communication.


Gökçen Erkılıç

This is not a line: Waterfront as a Resilient Space in Istanbul

Reseach Abstract: Istanbul is the largest coastal city in Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea water basins. Besides its terrestrial sprawl, the edge splitting land and sea bears evidence to an evolution as a physically deforming urban space. Golden Horn, Bosphorus, Marmara and Black Sea coasts are shaped by reclamations, coastal roads, infill areas, ports, marinas, transformation sites and canal projects in an increasing pace. Istanbul’s waterfront has dominantly been approached as a “development site” of old port areas in Galata and Golden Horn and Haydarpaşa which rendered it as a produced space of neoliberal transformation zone of the post-industrial city after 1980s. This research uses interdisciplinary sections of urban geography, design and history to approach the waterfront as a dynamic and critical urban edge. How the waterfront was shaped in Istanbul focusing its evolution in post-republican period until present is examined. Historical aerial photos and produced formal schemes like “master plans” and “projects” after first modernization plans for the waterfront are collected to evaluate these processes. Using waterfront contour line as a cartographic tool, the research maps the changes in its forms. Predominant oppositions like human/non-human, urban/extraurban, land / sea, manmade / natural are put under question through waterfront.

Bio: Currently a PhD candidate in Istanbul Technical University, Gökçen Erkılıç is an architect and a researcher. Her research areas are at intersections of urban theory, urban geography and urban design practices. Between architectural practice and urban studies, she is interested in changing paradigms of urban criticality in relation to architectural agency. In her thesis she focuses at the spatial formation processes of waterfront as an urban actor in Istanbul after Republic until present time. She previously practiced architecture and urban design in TEGET architectural design office, 2012-17. She holds BArch from Middle East Technical University, 2010 and a masters degree from Istanbul Bilgi University, 2012. She has engaged in urban research projects, urban design studios and exhibition projects in recent years including Pavilion of Turkey in Venice Biennale 2016.


Meriç Kırmızı

Looking beyond İstanbulian's Recent Surrender to Coffeehouses: Shopping Street Gentrifications in İstanbul's Kadıköy District

Research Abstract: Urban scholars have been examining İstanbul's urban change processes for the last fifteen-twenty years by studying the definitions, characters, main actors, and social and physical consequences of these processes. On İstanbul's Anatolian side, apart from the residential gentrification in some residential districts, such as Acıbadem, a commercial gentrification has been observed recently in Moda and Yeldeğirmeni districts, where shops change hands rapidly in a way that new places of consumption, including coffeehouses, which are appropriate for the new middle class taste shall be opened. This study aims at exploring sociologically the residential and commercial changes, centred around Acıbadem, Moda and Karakolhane streets after the 2000s. The research questions are: 1) How does the post-industrial urban change happen at the Kadıköy hub of İstanbul's Anatolian side? 2) What are its social and physical influences on the nearby residential areas, centred around Acıbadem, Moda, Karakolhane Streets? 3) How are different social groups, and particularly women, are influenced by their neighbourhood's upgrading, and how do they react to it? 4) Where could these İstanbul examples be placed in the post-industrial urban change and gentrification theories, in comparison with other geographical contexts? The study will apply observation and survey methods, in addition to secondary data collection and analysis to answer the research questions. By exploring the gentrification processes in İstanbul's relatively little studied Kadikoy area, the study will contribute to the international gentrification literature on İstanbul.

Bio: Meriç Kırmızı received her master's degree in Sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Middle East Technical University in 2011. At the same time, she worked as a full-time research assistant in the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Science of Hacettepe University from 2010 until 2012, before she went to Japan with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Research Scholarship of the Japanese Government in April 2012. She returned to Turkey in April 2017, after receiving a PhD degree in Human Sciences in the Graduate School of Human Sciences of Osaka University on March 22, 2017, and finishing with her responsibilities as a research fellow at Urban Research Plaza in Osaka City University (OCU) on March 31, 2017. Since September 2017, she has been continuing with her research on post-industrial urban change and gentrification as a post-doctoral fellow in the Istanbul Studies Center of Kadir Has University.


Murat Tülek

Workplace-Dwelling Relationship in Istanbul: From the Late Ottoman Period to Present

Research Abstract: This study focuses on dwelling-workplace relationship and the changes in daily life from late Ottoman Era to present. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Istanbul underwent a great transformation. This transformation expressed itself in Central Business District, residential areas, economic and social geography, intra-urban mobility, dwelling-workplace relationship, time space perception of citizens and their daily life practices. Judicial sector is a primary urban producer service in Central Business District. Hence this study will focus on lawyers and the changes in their dwelling-workplace relationships through a periodisation of these changes on the basis of several available documental sources. The main source that I will consult is the Istanbul Bar Association Directories (Istanbul Barosu Levhaları) which are periodically published and which includes all the home and work addresses of the city’s lawyers. This database will be digitized and geographically coordinated to visualize their marks on daily life and represent them geographically. Both individual movements in their daily lives and their movements over the years will be analysed by utilising this database through the “time geography” schema. In order to study the macroform of Istanbul, CBD, residential space developments and the changes in daily life practices, this database will be subjected to a Multiple Correspondence Analysis.

Bio: Murat Tülek is a PhD student at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Urban and Regional Planning. He graduated from the same university in 2010 and received his master’s degree with the thesis entitled “Research of The Spatial Change in Eminönü Coast: Balikpazari and Yemiş Quay at The Beginning of 20th Century” in 2014. His research interests include urban history, cartography and economic geography. He specialized in visualization of historical data sets, geographic information systems and interactive mapping. Since 2013, he has been conducting an interactive mapping project called “Istanbul’s Mega Projects.” Currently he works on his project entitled “The Changes in Daily Life After The First Bosphorus Bridge” funded by SALT Research.


Yeliz Kahya

Istanbul’s Urban Social Infrastructures: Art-driven Co-creation and Self-organization Scene in the City

Research Abstract: Contemporary cities’ urban social infrastructures are currently developing through which new types of spaces allowing community-oriented co-creation and self-organization that are mostly found in creative and cultural industries complement the traditional urban settings of social copresences, encounters and knowledge exchange. In the contemporary art literature, the art-driven co- creation and self-organization is extensively considered as new urban social practices that promote new ways of collaborative and interactive social exchanges between diverse works, practices, communities and cultures. These emerging and strengthening bottom-up and self-organized social practices come up with new forms of spaces in which social copresences are actualized in cities. They provide various lanes through which different communities establish permanent informal interactions with each other in order to confront ideas and to tap creative practices from other domains of knowledge. They are considered as important components of creative cities. Considering the increase in the new type of collaboratively oriented spaces of art in Istanbul, I ask for the ways through which these spaces create new urban social infrastructures of Istanbul and plug into the urban space of Istanbul. In doing so, I will visualize the temporal and spatial articulation of these emerging art spaces within the urban setting of Istanbul through developing interactive map-based tool that maintain an interactive, web-based platform and collaborative authoring environment. The outcome of the research will contribute in the understanding of the self-organizing and bottom-up character of urban social life and the spatial organization of cultural creative work in Istanbul.

Bio: Guzin Yeliz Kahya is an urban designer and landscape architect, and currently full-time working as a research assistant at the Department of City and Regional Planning, Faculty of Architecture in Erciyes University (Kayseri, Turkey). She completed her PhD in City and Regional Planning at Middle East Technical University in April 2015 with her Ph.D. dissertation entitled ‘Spatio-temporal Structuration of Art and Cultural Events Mediated Urban Experience in Beyoğlu’. She affiliated Georgia Institute of Technology, Faculty of Architecture as a visitor researcher and worked on spatial analysis methods, including Space Syntax and ArcGis based methods in order to question social role of urban space network in the context of Beyoğlu urban area. In her Ph.D. dissertation, she examined the structural role of contemporary art scene on the spatial and temporal organization of urban social life in Istanbul. Excerpts from her doctoral research published in the edited proceedings of international and national symposiums. The three papers extensively discussing the findings that were derived in her doctoral research are in the process of review by international peer-reviewed publications. Her research interests are urban focused. It covers the interdisciplinary terrain of social and space oriented fields of urban research with a particular interest in the role of urban space in the mediation of social activities in cities.