An exploration of two gated communities in Istanbul

Tanulku, Basak and Urry, John (2009) An exploration of two gated communities in Istanbul. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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In the process of globalisation, big cities in Turkey have witnessed the emergence of gated communities a much debated issue in public opinion. This thesis is a comparative research, which distinguishes it methodologically from the rest of the Turkish literature. Contrary to the mainstream literature, I will show that gated communities interact with their surroundings, rather than being isolated housing developments. For this purpose, I selected the communities of Istanbul Istanbul and Kasaba built by the same developer company in Gokturk and Omerli. I have four main interests in this research. First, I examine the relations established with the residents in nearby communities, the local populations and municipalities which lead to economic, political and cultural changes in Gokturk and Omerli. Second, I examine how residents establish boundaries with different groups. In doing this, I argue that gated communities are the reflections of different class and cultural groups so that each social group has its “socially situated symbolic capitals” relevant for that group. Third, I also examine how space is shaped by and shapes people’s lives. For this purpose, I examine the competition between imaginary and real spaces, i.e. “designed” and “lived” places, which gives interesting results about how residents experience their homes leading to the reevaluation of “sign-value”. Fourth, I explore the “security” aspect of gated communities. For this purpose, I examine how residents perceive Istanbul which has become a dangerous city due to increasing crime rates and the threat of a future earthquake. I also examine how security is ensured inside gated communities. Finally, I argue that gated communities do not create totally safe and isolated places, but they lead to new insecurities.

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Thesis (PhD)
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09 Jan 2013 14:43
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:05