- “Mış Gibi Site”: Ankara’da Bir TOKİ-Gecekondu Dönüşüm Sitesi by Tahire Erman (review)
- Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association
- Indiana University Press
- Volume 4, Number 1, May 2017
- pp. 226-228
- View Citation
- Additional Information
226 Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, Vol. 4.1 deputies, which resulted in the Sanjak parliament, at its first meeting, deciding to join Turkey. With Turkey’s last remaining territorial problem resolved, it now had no reason to enter the Second World War. The author of this work is an expert on the modern history of Mosul. If the author had compared the Sanjak issue with the Mosul Question after World War I, in my opinion she would have made a more significant contribution to the literature. Such an analysis would help us to better understand how international politics had reacted differently to two territorial and population problems resultant of World War I. It would also help us to appreciate how the self-determination methods/techniques (census, election, and plebiscite) were utilized in population and territorial problems of the Middle East. In this respect, the lack of political science literature on self-determination in the Middle East would be complemented more. Fuat Dündar TOBB-ETÜ University doi: 10.2979/jottturstuass.4.1.14 Tahire Erman. “Mış Gibi Site”: Ankara’da Bir TOKİ-Gecekondu Dönüşüm Sitesi. Istanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2016. 325 pp. 25.50 TL. ISBN: 978-9750518904. Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic, the construction of houses has remained an important policy issue of the government because the cities have not been well-planned and periodical natural disasters have damaged the residential areas. Internal migration and immigrations from other countries into Turkey since the 1950s have given rise to the institutional structure of residential construction and continual allocation of resources to this issue. The year 1984 was the turning point for these policies. In that year the Mass Housing Law was enacted and the Housing Development Administration (Toplu Konut İdaresi-TOKİ) was established. Subsequent additions to the law in 2003 saw TOKİ assigned the mission of transforming shanty houses (gecekondu) into housing developments (site). Through this action urban transformation and the elevation of the poor into the middle class, the two key aims of neoliberalism , were envisioned. Urban transformation, which accelerated after that era, became a popular research topic. Tahire Erman’s book investigates urban transformation and its effect on the population and emphasizes the intermittency of families who were removed from their squatter settlements that were declared undesirable places almost all over the world. The book addresses the state’s efforts to settle squatters in the housing developments with the goal of transforming them into members of the middle Book Reviews 227 class; rather they maintain their squatter lifestyle which is not conducive to their new habitat. The author’s ethnographic research consists of in-depth interviews with sixty-three people, a questionnaire with responses from 439 people, informal interviews, and participant observations in Karacaören-TOKİ (K-TOKİ). The book includes two sections and eighteen chapters. The first section, “Neoliberal Urbanization and the Transformation in the Place of the Poor” consists of six chapters. This section discusses where the cities stand in terms of the neoliberal viewpoint, how urban transformation was carried out in the West, how it is envisaged in Third World countries, and the consequences of this transformation. In the last part of the first section, the information about urban transformation projects in Turkey is presented. The second section, “The Ethnography of a Squatter Transformation Area,” is based on original research and consists of twelve chapters. In this section, after presenting an overview of K-TOKİ houses and the historical background of its formation process, economic, sociological, and psychological maps of the housing development are created via the information gathered from interviews with the residents. The experience that the housing development ’s residents had when they moved from squatter settlements to their new housing and afterwards is revealed. Prevailing housing problems and perspectives of the residents about K-TOKİ, their neighbors, and the government are discussed. While presenting the outcome of her research throughout the book the author emphasizes neoliberal manifestations of the squatter settlements and concepts of the poor. Urban transformation is one of the most debated topics in urbanization literature. There are studies on the sociological and psychological effects of urban transformation. The marginalization of...