The Politics of the Turkish Gecekondu (Slum) Dwellers: A Case Study on the Izmir Kurucesme District

By D. Burcu Egilmez.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discusses the determined attempts of the Turkish state to restructure urban slums on the one hand and the politics of slum dwellers on the other, with a focus on Izmir in general, and the Kuruçeşme mahallesi (neighborhood) in particular. The theoretical ground for this paper is constituted by the idea of the politics of the informal poor as “everyday resistance and community action”, the importance of the local space in emerging forms of politics, and the role of non-institutionalized, self-governed politics in opening a space for radical politics and democracy. On an empirical level, I take Kuruçeşme mahallesi as the site of contestation. I focus on the self-organized Kuruçeşme neighborhood initiative, demonstrations and protests as the basis of community action and consider the constant struggle of Kuruçeşme dwellers for survival as part of everyday resistance. Finally, I discuss how the outcomes of these actions contribute to radical politics and democracy.

Keywords: Politics of the Slum Dwellers, Turkey, Izmir, Everyday Resistance, Community Action, Radical Politics, Radical Democracy

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 7, pp.65-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.141MB).

D. Burcu Egilmez

Instructor, Media and Communication Department, Communication Faculty, Izmir Economy University, Izmir, Turkey


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