Research Center for International Relations

Research Center for International Relations

May 18, 2011

Özgür Sevgi Göral

LOOKING AT THE EXPERIENCES OF THE KURDS THROUGH THE URBAN CONTEXT:
CASES OF YAKACIK AND AYAZMA

Abstract

“ ‘Kurdish question’, which is one of the most important historical and political issues of Turkey, became an urban and metropolitan issue. This fact changed all the urban imaginations on the one hand and the perceptions of the Kurds and the Kurdish question on the other hand, and it specifically altered Istanbul’s metropolitan area. The new Kurdish migrants, who came mostly to Istanbul's squatter neighbourhoods, precipitated the emergence of a new discussion and a new set of practices. The discussion is quite old actually and it is about determining who belongs to the urban space and who does not. The abrupt (forced or voluntary) migration of the Kurds to the bigger cities of Turkey including Istanbul ethnicised this old discussion to an important extent. Besides, the Kurds are not merely passive subjects but rather active agents. They transformed the urban space as well as the political and social experience that they are in. This presentation focuses on two squatter neighbourhoods of Istanbul, Ayazma and Yakacık and tries to understand this transformation through these two cases.”

 

   

 

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Research Center for International Relations