Residents’ experiences of a gentrified neighborhood in Istanbul: The case of Akaretler row houses

The gentrification process has been examined by sociologists, urban planners, geographers and many other professionals since the 1970s. However, despite a great deal of research into the concept, process, and other dimensions of gentrification, there are few studies which consider the importance of the perspective and experiences of residents and users. This paper focuses on the gentrification process and its impact on the nongentrifier residents of the Akaretler neighborhood of Beşiktaş, an area which was transformed following a major restoration project 10 years ago. In-depth interviews were conducted with long-term residents and business owners to investigate how they evaluate the changes in their neighborhood as well as the positive and negative impacts of gentrification on their lives. According to the findings, while the majority of respondents acknowledged the physical success of the restoration project, some of them also pointed out the negative economic, social, and cultural outcomes it has raised over the past 10 years. The outstanding negative issues are social integration difficulties, the lack of affordable properties, changes to property functions, and cultural contrast.


Akbayar, N. (1998). Dünden Bugüne Beşiktaş. İstanbul: Beşiktaş Belediyesi. Akaretler’deki Vakıf Evleri Turistlere Kiralanacak. (1980, June 11). Milliyet. Retrieved from http://gazetearsivi.

Akaretler Parlıyor. (1998, July 21). Sabah. Retrieved from https://emlakkulisi. com/1998-yilinda-akaretler-siraevleri- kiralanmaya-baslamis/374707

Appleyard, D. (1981). The conservation of European cities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Aalbers, M. B. (2019). Introduction To The Forum: From Third To Fifth- Wave Gentrification. Tijds. voor econ. en Soc. Geog., 110, 1-11. doi:10.1111/ tesg.12332

August, M., & Walks, A. (2018). Gentrification, suburban decline, and the financialization of multi-family rental housing: The case of Toronto. Geoforum, 89, 124136. doi:10.1016/j. geoforum.2017.04.011

Atkinson, R. (2003). Introduction: Misunderstood Savior or Vengeful Wrecker? The Many Meanings and Problems of Gentrification. Urban Studies, 40(12), 2343-2350.

Bandarin, F. (1979). The Bolonha Experience: Planning and Historic Renovation in a Communist City. In The conservation of European Cities, 178-202. London: The MIT Press.

Bardaka, E., Delgado, M. S., Florax, R. J. (2018). Causal identification of transit induced gentrification and spatial spillover effects: The case of the Denver light rail. Journal of Transport Geography, 71, 15-31. doi:10.1016/j. jtrangeo.2018.06.025

Batur, A. (1960). Akaretler. In İstanbul Ansiklopedisi, 149-150. İstanbul.

Batur, A., Yücel, A., Fersan, N. (1979). İstanbul’da Ondokuzuncu Yüzyıl Sıra Evleri “Koruma ve Yeniden Kullanım Bir Monografik Araştırma”. O.D.T.Ü. Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi,5(2). Retrieved from http://jfa.arch.metu. sayi_2/185-205.pdf

Beauregard, R. (1986). The chaos and complexity of gentrification. In Gentrification of the City, 35–55.

Winchester: Allen & Unwin. Beşiktaş’a Cennet Projce. (1996, December 28). Radikal. Retrieved from yilinda-akaretler-sira-evler-projesiylesira- evlerkurtulacakmis/369302

Billig, M., Churchman, A. (2003). Planned gentrification as a means of urban regeneration. In Culture, Environmental Action, and Sustainability, 171-184. Hogrefe Publishing.

Billingham, C. M. (2017). Waiting for Bobos: Displacement and Impeded Gentrification in a Midwestern City. City & Community, 16(2), 145-168. doi:10.1111/cico.12235

Bishaw, A. (2014). Changes in areas with concentrated poverty: 2000 to 2010. American Community Survey Reports ACS, 27. Washington, D.C: U.S Census Bureau.

Bondi, L. (1999). Gender, Class, and Gentrification: Enriching the Debate. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space,17(3). Retrieved from abs/10.1068/d170261

Bostic, R. W., Martin, R. W. (2003). Black Home-owners as a Gentrifying Force? Neighborhood Dynamics in the Context of Minority Home-ownership. Urban Studies, 40(12), 2427-2449.

Boterman, W. R., & Gent, W. P. (2014). Housing Liberalisation and Gentrification: The Social Effects of Tenure Conversions in Amsterdam. Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie, 105(2), 140-160. doi:10.1111/tesg.12050

Cameron, S., Coaffee, J. (2005). Art, Gentrification and Regeneration – from artist as pioneer to Public arts. European Journal of Housing Studies, 5 (1), 39-58.

Caulfield, J. (1994). City Form and Everyday Life: Toronto’s Gentrification and Critical Social Practice. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Çeker, A., Belge, R. (2015). İstanbul’da kentsel dönüşüm kapsamında gerçekleşen bir olgu: Soylulaştırma. Türk Coğrafya Dergisi,65, 77-86. Retrieved from download/article-file/199033.

Christafore, D., Leguizamon, S. (2018). Neighbourhood inequality spillover effects of gentrification. Papers in Regional Science. doi:10.1111/ pirs.12405

Clay, P. L. (1981). Neighborhood renewal: Middle-class resettlement and Incument upgrading in American neighborhood. Lexington, Ma.: Lexington Books.

Cocola-Gant, A. (2015). Tourism and commercial gentrification. Paper presented at RC21 International Conference on “The Ideal City: Between myth and reality. Representations, policies, contradictions and challenges for tomorrow’s urban life”. Italy. 27- 29 August. Retrieved from https:// www. rc21 .org/en/wp- content / uploads/2014/12/E4 Cócola-Gant.pdf

Cocola-Gant, A. (2019). Gentrification and displacement: Urban inequality in cities of late capitalism. In T. Schwanen & R. Van Kempen (Eds.), Handbook of Urban Geography. Cheltenham and Northamtpon: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Cocola-Gant, A. (2018). Tourism gentrification. In L. Lees & M. Phillips (Eds.), Handbook of Gentrification Studies (pp.281-293). Cheltenham and Northamtpon: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Davidson, M., Lees, L. (2005). Newbuild `gentrification’ and London’s riverside renaissance. Environment and Planning A, 37, 1165 – 1190.

Davidson, M., & Lees, L. (2009). New-build gentrification: Its histories, trajectories, and critical geographies. Population, Space and Place, 16(5), 394-411. doi:10.1002/psp.584

Eğilmez, Y. (1982, February 11). Vakıflar 80 Liralık Kiracılar İçin 30 Bin Liralık Kiracıları Çıkarıyor. Tercüman. Retrieved from https://emlakkulisi. com/1982-yilindavakiflar-akaretlerdeki- 70-tarihi-evin-tahliye-edilmesini- istemis/341205

Ergün, N. (2004). Gentrification in Istanbul. Cities, 21(5), 391-403.

Ergün, N. (2006). Gentrification Kuramlarının İstanbul’da Uygulanabilirliği. In İstanbul’da Soylulaştırma Eski Kentin Yeni Sahipleri. İstanbul.

Ernst, O., & Doucet, B. (2014). A Window on the (Changing) Neighbourhood: The Role of Pubs in the Contested Spaces of Gentrification. Tijdschrift Voor Economische En Sociale Geografie, 105(2), 189-205. doi:10.1111/tesg.12071

Fabula, S., Boros, L., Kovács, Z., Horváth, D., & Pál, V. (2017). Studentification, diversity and social cohesion in post-socialist Budapest. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, 66(2), 157-173. doi:10.15201/hungeobull.66.2.5

Florida, R. (2002). The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life. S.l.: Basic Books.

Frankenberg, R. (1994). Communities in Britain: Social life in town and country. Hampshire: Gregg Revivals.

Freeman, L. (2004). There goes the ‘hood: The meaning of gentrification to longterm residents. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. San Francisco. 14 August. Retrieved from http:// mla_apa_research_citation/1/0/8/8/4/ pages108849/p108849-11.php

Freeman, L. (2005). Displacement or Succession? Residential Mobility in Gentrifying Neighborhoods. Urban Affairs Review, 40(4), 463-491.

Glass, R. (1964). Introduction: As pects of Change in: Centre for Urban Studies. In London: Aspects of Change. London: MacGibbon and Kee.

Gotham, K. F. (2005). Tourism Gentrification: The Case of New Orleans Vieux Carre (French Quarter). Urban Studies, 42(7), 1099-1121. doi:10.1080/00420980500120881

Hackworth, J., Smith, N. (2001). The changing state of gentrification. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 92(4), 464–77.

Hackworth, J. (2002). Post-recession gentrification in New York City. Urban Affairs Review, 37, 815–843.

Hackworth, J. (2007). The neoliberal city: governance, ideology and development in American urbanism. New York: Cornell University Press.

Hubbard, P. (2016). The Battle for the High Street: Retail Gentrification, Class and Disgust. London: Springer.

Hyra, D. (2016). Commentary: Causes and Consequences of Gentrification and the Future of Equitable Development Policy. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research,18(3), 171-179. Retrieved from metropolicy/upload/Hyra-2016-Cityscape- Proofs.pdf.

Inzulza-Contardo, J. (2011). ‘Latino Gentrification’?: Focusing on Physical and Socioeconomic Patterns of Change in Latin American Inner Cities. Urban Studies, 49(10), 2085-2107. doi:10.1177/0042098011423425

İslam, T. (2006). Merkezin Dışında İstanbul’da Soylulaştırma (D. Behar and T. İslam Ed.) In İstanbul’da Soylulaştırma Eski Kentin Yeni Sahipleri. İstanbul.

İslam, T. (2009). Devlet Eksenli Soylulaşma ve Yerel Halk: Neslişah Ve Hatice Sultan Mahalleleri (Sulukule) Örneği (Unpublished master’s thesis). Yıldız Teknik Üniversitesi, İstanbul. doi:http://dspace.yildiz. 8080/xmlui/bitstream/handle/ 20.500.11871/1004/0042291.pdf? sequence=1

Keels, M., Burdick-Will, J., Keene, S. (2013). The Effects of Gentrification on Neighborhood Public Schools. City & Community, 12(3), 238-259. doi:10.1111/cico.12027

Kempen, R. V., Weesep, J. V. (1994). Gentrification and the Urban Poor: Urban Restructuring and Housing Policy in Utrecht. Urban Studies,31(7), 1043- 1056. doi:10.1080/00420989420080941

Kennedy, M., Leonard, P. (2001). Dealing with Neighborhood Change: A Primer on Gentrification and Policy Choices. Discussion Paper Prepared for The Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy. Retrieved from https://www.brookings. edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ gentrification.pdf

Kern, C. R. (1981). Upper-income renaissance in the city: its sources and implications for the city’s future. Journal of Urban Economics, 9, 106–24.

Koçu, R. E. (1993). Akaretler. In Dünden Bugüne İstanbul Ansiklopedisi, 149-150. İstanbul.

Lazarević, E. V., Koružnjak, A. B., Devetaković, M. (2016). Culture design- led regeneration as a tool used to regenerate deprived areas. Belgrade— The Savamala quarter; reflections on an unplanned cultural zone. Energy and Buildings, 115, 3-10. doi:10.1016/j. enbuild.2015.03.015

Lees, L. (1996). In the Pursuit of Difference: Representations of Gentrification. Environment and Planning A,28(3), 453-470. doi:10.1068/a280453

Lees, L. (2003). Super-gentrification: the case of Brooklyn Heights, New York City. Urban Studies, 40(12), 2487–510.

Lees, L., Shin, H. B., & López- Morales, E. (2015). Conclusion: Global gentrifications. In Global gentrifications: Uneven development and displacement (pp. 441-452). Bristol: Policy Press.

Lees, L., Shin, H. B., & José, L. M. (2016). Planetary gentrification. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Ley, D. (1986). Alternative explanations for inner-city gentrification: a Canadian assessment. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 76(4), 521–35.

Ley, D. (1992). Gentrification In Recession: Social Change In Six Canadian Inner Cities, 1981- 1986. Urban Geography,13(2), 230-256. doi:https://doi. org/10.2747/02723638.13.3.230

Ley, D. (1996). The New Middle Class and the Remaking of the Central City. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ley, D. (2003). Artists, Aestheticisation and the Field of Gentrification. Urban Studies, 40(12), 2527-2544. doi:10.1080/004209803200 0136192

Mccarthy, J., Wang, Y. (2015). Culture, creativity and commerce: Trajectories and tensions in the case of Beijings 798 Art Zone. International Planning Studies, 21(1), 115. doi:10.108 0/13563475.2015.1114446

McKinnish, T., Randall, W., Kirk, W. (2010). Who Gentrifies Low-Income Neighborhoods? Journal of Urban Economics, 67 (2), 180–193. Retrieved from w14036

Meltzer, R., Ghorbani, P. (2017). Does gentrification increase employment opportunities in lowincome neighborhoods? Regional Science and Urban Economics, 66, 52-73. doi:10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2017.06.002

Murdie, R. A. Teixerira, C. (2011). The Impact of Gentrification on Ethnic Neighourhoods in Toronto: A Case Study of Little Portugal. Urban Studies, 48 (1), 61-83.

Musterd, S., Ostendorf, W. (2005). On physical determinism and displacement effects. In Restructuring Large Housing Estates in Europe: Restructuring and Resistance Inside the Welfare Industry, 149-168. Policy Press.

Özsoydan, G. (2007). Kentsel korumaya stratejik yaklaşım (Beşiktaş Köyiçi kentsel sit alanı örneği) (Master’s thesis). Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, İstanbul. Retrieved from stratejikyaklasim-besiktaskoy- ici-kentsel-sit-alani-ornegi/

Parekh, T. (2014). “They want to live in the Tremé, but they want it for their ways of living”: Gentrification and neighborhood practice in Tremé, New Orleans. Urban Geography, 36(2), 201-220. doi:10.1080/02723638.2014.9 61359

Phillips, M. (2005). Differential productions of rural gentrification: Illustrations from North and South Norfolk. Geoforum, 36(4), 477-494. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2004.08.001

Polat, D. K. (2016). There Is Nothing Quite Like Tophane” A Case Study of Gentrification in Istanbul(Rep.). Istanbul: Istanbul Policy Center. Retrieved from http://ipc.sabanciuniv. edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ T h e r e - i s - N o t h i n g - Q u i t e - likeTophane_D.K.Polat_.pdf

Robinson, T. (1995). Gentrification and Grassroots Resistance in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. Urban Affairs Review, 30(4), 483-513.

Rofe, M. W. (2003). “I want to be global”: Theorising the gentrifying class as an emergent élite global community. Urban Studies, 40(12), 2511- 2526.

Sampaio, J. C. (2002). The persistent underutilization of Brazilian City Centres: With special reference to the cultural corridor of Rio de Janeiro. New York: S.n.

Sampaio, J. C. (2007). Gentrification: Is It Possible To Avoid It?. City & Time, 3(2), 3rd ser. Retrieved from

Severöz, S. (2017, December 06). Uzun sessizliğin ardından. Habertürk. Retrieved from http:// severoz/1743018-uzunsessizligin- ardindan

Shaw, K. S., & Hagemans, I. W. (2015). ‘Gentrification Without Displacement and the Consequent Loss of Place: The Effects of Class Transition on Low-income Residents of Secure Housing in Gentrifying Areas. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(2), 323-341. doi:10.1111/1468-2427.12164

Showkat N., Parveen, H. (2017). Indepth Interview. e-PG Pathshala [PDF]. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate. net/publication/319162160_Indepth_ Interview

Slater, T. (2006). The eviction of critical perspectives from gentrification research. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 30(4), 737–757.

Slater, T. (2015). Planetary Rent Gaps. Antipode, 49, 114-137. doi:10.1111/anti.12185

Smith, N. (1979). Toward a Theory of Gentrification, A Back to the City Movement by Capital, Not People. Journal of the American Planning Association,538-548. Retrieved from chin15/files/2015/02/Smith-Theoryof-_ Gentrification.pdf.

Smith, N. (1986). Gentrification, the frontier, and the restructuring of urban space. In Gentrification of the City. London: Allen & Unwin.

Smith, N. (1996). The New Urban Frontier: Gentrification and the Revanchist City. London and New York: Routledge.

Smith, N. (2001). New globalism, new urbanism: gentrification as global urban strategy. Antipode, 34(3), 427– 50.

Smith, N., Williams, P. (1986). Alternatives to orthodoxy: invitation to a debate. In Gentrification of the City, 1–10. London: Allen & Unwin.

Smith, D. P., & Holt, L. (2007). Studentification and “apprentice” gentrifiers within Britain’s provincial towns and cities: Extending the meaning of gentrification. Environmental and Planning A, 39(1), 142-161.

Sürmegöz, K. (2010). Tarihi çevrelerin yeniden değerlendirilmesine araç olarak kentsel tasarım; Beşiktaş Akaretler Sıraevleri örneği. (Master’s thesis). Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi, İstanbul. Tarih Can Çekişiyor. (1994, September 01). Sabah. Retrieved from https://emlakkulisi. com/1994-yilinda-akaretler-evleri- kaderine-terk-edilmis/366733

Tiesdell, S., Oc, T., Heath, T. (2008). Revitalizing historic urban quarters. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Tuncer, T., İslam, T. (2017). Studentification as a new form of gentrification: Changing neighborhood dynamics in Bosna Hersek Neighborhood (Konya). Journal of Planning, 27(3). doi:10.14744/planlama.2017.77698

Uitermark, J., Duyvendak, J.W., Kleinhans, R. (2007). Gentrification as a governmental strategy: social control and social cohesion in Hoogvliet, Rotterdam. Environment and Planning A, 39,125–141.

Uysal, E. (2006). Soylulaştırma Kuramlarının İstanbul’da Uygulanabilirliği: Cihangir Örneği. Planlama, 2, 77-92.

Uysal, A. B., Sakarya, I. (2018). Rural gentrification in the North Aegean Countryside (Turkey). Iconarp International J. of Architecture and Planning, 6(1), 99-125. doi:10.15320/ iconarp.2018.40

Uzgören, G., Türkün, A. (2018). Airbnb impact on gentrification process: The case of Rasimpaşa Neighborhood Kadıköy. Journal of Planning, 28(2). doi:10.14744/planlama. 2018.29491

Vance, J. E. (1966). Housing the Worker: The Employment Linkage as a Force in Urban Structure. Economic Geography, 42(4), 294. doi:10.2307/141882

Wheaton, W. (1977). Income and urban residence: An analysis of consumer demand for location. American Economic Review, 67, 620–31.

Kaynak Göster