Space and Identity in Resistance against Neoliberal Urban Planning in Turkey


This article highlights the role of collective identity and space in the emergence of social resistance within a neoliberal context. It argues that the attempted eviction of residents from their established neighbourhoods through public planning projects generates resistance against the reappropriation of these spaces and has encouraged new forms of resistance among inhabitants in several neighbourhoods. I particularly emphasize that planning projects often displace particular populations by force, principally minority communities, in order to confine them to new resettlement areas far from their customary living places, which has a socioeconomic impact on people’s identity, everyday life and social solidarity. The article is based on empirical research in two neighbourhoods in Istanbul — 1 Mayıs and Sulukule — to analyse practices of resistance of inhabitants in everyday life and examine how this resistance shapes their identity and daily life.