Slums During the Urbanization Process of Turkey

Topics: Slum, Urbanization, Shanty town Pages: 4 (1258 words) Published: December 14, 2009
Başak Erel
Berke Baş
Multiply-city; Representations of Urban Experience

Slums During the Urbanization Process of Turkey

The word ‘slum’ was firstly mentioned by a writer called James Hardy Vaux, in his book ‘Vocabulary of the Flash Language’ which was published in 1812[1]. At those times ‘slum’ was also a synonym of illegal commerce. Today, ‘slum’ is used to describe the residential areas of a huge amount of people of the world. According to the UN-Habitat report released in October 2003 “Some 923,986,000 people, or 31.6 per cent of the world’s total urban population, live in slums; some 43 per cent of the urban population of all developing regions combined live in slums; some 78.2 per cent of the urban population in the least developed countries live in slums; some six per cent of the urban population in developed regions live in slum-like conditions”[2].

In Turkey, the slums history can be considered parallel with the urbanization process which started in the 1950’s. Tahire Erman, an academician of urban studies describes this process in four different stages which are ‘rural other’ in 1950s – 1960s, ‘disadvantaged other’ in 1970s, early 1980s, ‘variations’ in mid 1980s – 1990s, ‘slumed other’ late 1990s.[3] During this period of 1945-1990, the total population of the country increased 3 times more crowded and the percentage of the urban population to the rural population increased from %24 to %56.[4] Many academics, researchers thought that slum dwellers would homogenized in 1950s – 1960s. According to them, those people were not integrated yet but they could integrate during development of the urbanization process in Turkey. However, this approach changed in 1970s and rural migrants were started to be called ‘disadvantaged other’. Inadequate public policies and the capitalist market relationships were the ‘structural barriers’ standing in front of the integration. According to Teddy Cruz, an architect who has been working in the...
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