Yaşar Adnan Adanalı is Istanbul-based urbanist, researcher, and lecturer. He will present, "Mahalle" Politics in the Making: Neighborhoods at Risk as Istanbul’s New Urban Commons."
His talk is part of the Global Issues Symposium.
Adanalı is the cofounder and director of Center for Spatial Justice (Turkish: Mekanda Adalet Derneği, Abbrev. MAD). Adanalı has a BA from Sabanci University (Istanbul) and MA on development and planning from UCL (London). His PhD research in Habitat Unit (TU Berlin) is on urban transformation of informal areas in Istanbul and urban grassroots movements.
He worked as a development specialist with informal communities in Dominican Republic; and on refugee camp improvement projects in the Middle East. He teaches participatory planning at Darmstadt Technical University (Germany). Adanalı is a voluntary member of Düzce Hope Studio, set up for designing the first participatory mass-housing project in Turkey.
GECEKONDU, literally translated as ‘built over night,’ is the particular Turkish term signifying a universal phenomenon – informal settlements. Today informally developed yet partially regularized and mostly consolidated neighborhoods (mahalle), lie at the center of Istanbul’s restless urban transformation process.
In the making of the ‘Global City,’ the actors of the public-private-partnership model target these areas, mainly for the value of urban land on which neighborhoods have been developed over decades.
In response, Gecekondu communities coming from different ethnic, cultural, social backgrounds have started to get organized, by establishing new neighborhood associations, as well as mobilizing already existing ones, in their respective locales to resist this process of accumulation by dispossession.