Urban Policy
Şahin, Yusuf. Kentleşme Politikası. Trabzon: Murathan Yayınevi, 2011, 2nd ed., 434pp.


Urban Policy 

Kentleşme Politikası

In the second edition of Urban Policy’ Şahin tackles fundamental approaches in urban studies literature along with the historical, political and economic dynamics of urbanisation in Turkey. The first three chapters of the book examine different theoretical perspectives in urban studies and interpret these approaches within the context of Turkey. Şahin looks at the historical development of ancient and modern cities as well as the cultural and economic governance of different urban settings. Then he moves on to discuss planning, housing, urban land and the environment. The last few chapters of the book discuss more peripheral themes in urban studies such as rural and disaster policies. In terms of organisation, in each chapter the author looks at the international context and moves on to the Turkish case. At the end of each chapter Şahin has included statistics, figures and other visual material followed by a set of working questions. In addition, he provides Turkish translations of important concepts and terms in urban studies literature extant in English. One other interesting detail in the book is the section where Şahin discusses the prominent urban studies scholars in Turkey from a historical perspective, highlighting the intellectual and cultural contexts in which they were inspired by German, French and American urban scholars. Despite the interesting points discussed in the book, Şahin does not offer an in-depth study for he is presenting many topics in one single book. The first part of the book discusses the themes in urban studies in general and reads like a summary. One exception to Şahin’s otherwise descriptive account, is the implicit allusion he makes to the negative role of the state in urban development. But even here, Şahin does not explain why the state needs to withdraw from the public sphere and how family and community based decisions would replace top-down policies. Neither the content nor the methodology of the book are relevant to this discussion. Overall, Şahin’s book is an introduction to the dynamics of Turkey’s urbanisation along with some references to urban studies literature. Although it does not offer an analytical perspective, it is a quick survey of the field in Turkey.

Helin Burkay
Burkay, Helin. '"English abstract of 'Urban Policy'". Translated by Helin Burkay. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 72. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations abstract the Aga Khan University
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