1 Mayıs Mahallesi: Social Struggles and the City before 1980

Aslan, Şükrü. 1 Mayıs Mahallesi: 1980 Öncesi Toplumsal Mücadeleler ve Kent. İstanbul: İletişim Yayınları, 2004, 240pp.




1 Mayıs Mahallesi: Social Struggles and the City Before 1980


1 Mayıs Mahallesi: 1980 Öncesi Toplumsal Mücadeleler Ve Kent


Written by Şükrü Aslan, this book is a sociological study of squatter (gecekondu) neighbourhood developments in Istanbul during the 1970s. This abstract is based on the 1st edition published in 2004 by İletişim. The book is divided into three chapters and employs qualitative methods of oral history for the study.


The 1960s marked the proliferation of illegal squatter settlements on the fringes of various cities in Turkey. These, together with the development of patronage relations between public authorities, municipalities and the urban poor, have become symbols of the metropolis in Turkey. This book explores this phenomenon from a micro perspective through the examination of one squatter neighbourhood in Istanbul, namely 1 Mayıs Mahallesi.


 The book first discusses the theoretical aspects of the study with reference to mass immigration, illegal housing and political polarisation during the 1970s in Turkey. Aslan then examines the impact of immigration and left-wing student organisations on the foundation and development of 1 Mayıs Mahallesi between 1970 and 1977. Using data gathered from in-depth interviews, the author focuses on equal distribution of land and the consequences of political solidarity among immigrants.


In the final chapter, the author explores the period following the mass demolition of the neighbourhood in 1977 by public authorities. He looks at the processes of criminalisation and the disintegration of original solidarity networks that took place in the aftermath of the demolition. These processes are directly related to the legal recognition of the neighbourhood that followed the military intervention of 1980.


The book concludes with theoretical observations and questions about class conflict in urban spaces, and the dynamism of formal and informal relations occurring in Istanbul during the 1970’s. Complete transcripts of Aslan’s in-depth interviews are available at the end of the book.


Overall, this book offers a vigorous and critical contribution to literature on urbanisation and development of squatter housing in Turkey.


Helin Burkay


Burkay, Helin. “English abstract of 'of 1 Mayıs Mahallesi: Social Struggles and the City Before 1980'". Translated by SHelin Burkay. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 85. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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