READING CLASS BETWEEN LINES

:
SPATIAL TRANSFORMATION IN BARTIN

Ferdi İnanlı BİLKENT UNIVERSITY LAUD Ankara 2009

Abstract

This research is about gentrification in Bartın, a semi-urban or semi-rural settlement in Turkey. The urban space in Bartın has transformed by means of sprawls both from the city towards the surrounding rural periphery, and from the rural areas towards the city. Although gentrification, by definition, is defined as class oriented regeneration or renewal, Bartın does not fit this definition. As a sharp class differentiation is absent in Bartın, gentrification involves socio-cultural transformation in the renewed or regenerated areas. This report focuses on this lack of class differentiation with a particular discussion of the Gazhane and Kırtepe districts that are potential gentrification areas in Bartın.

Table of contents

1. Abstract 2. Table Of Contents 3. List Of Tables and Photographs 4. Glossary 5. 1- Introduction
1.1. What is this research is about? 1.2. Research method 1.3. Plan of the study

6. 2- Gentrification in urban studies
2.1. Class and gentrification 2.2. History of gentrification 2.3. Different conceptualizations and factors of gentrification 2.4. Contextual nature of gentrification

7.

3- Gentrification in Bartın
3.1. A glance at gentrification in Turkey. 3.2. Class in Bartın 3.3. Gentrification projects in Bartın

8. 4-Conclusion
Conclusion-Last words-Further researches & suggestions

9. References cited 10. Appendix

Glossary Muhtar: District leader elected by the inhabitants of that district. Gazete: Newspaper. Kent: town, subdivision of a province. Şehir: used as province center. (Every şehir is a kent at the same time but every kent is not şehir) Gecekondu: Shanty towns or squatter settlements in various part of the world, that are
called gecekondu in Turkey, are different than inner-city slums, although they also provide housing for the poor.

1-Introduction:
1.1. What is this research is about?

This research is about gentrification in Bartın, a semi-urban or semi-rural settlement in Turkey. In these days Bartın experiences a spatial transformation in terms of demographics changes. Like other small cities of Turkey, Bartın’s inhabitants migrate to Turkey’s big cities such as İstanbul and Ankara and meanwhile, people migrate to Bartın from the rural parts of the province. As a result, Bartın experiences very rapid demographic changes and inevitable spatial transformation because of this rapid and cannot be prevented change and transformation.
1.2. Research method

In this research I used various methods including a brief field work. I went to Bartın three times and stayed there for a total of seven days.1 As I stayed there I made observations about Bartın. I also spoke to many inhabitants of Bartın and read the daily newspapers Bartın Gazetesi, Bartın Ekspres, Bartın Halk Gazetesi and Bartın Olay. I also acquired the issues for the last two weeks. During my research for the project area I read many internet newspapers, news portals and official sites of Bartın. Therefore, in my research, I utilized text analysis as a method, as well as speaking with the inhabitants of Bartın and with my instructors who are familiar with the town. As I read the daily news about Bartın to find “class” between the lines of the news, my research title is “reading class between lines”.
1.3. Plan of the study

In this report I will first discuss the issue of class and gentrification under the title of “Gentrification in urban studies”. I will present a short history of gentrification in global perspective and then look into some examples in Turkey, specifically in İstanbul, to understand how gentrification works nationally and internationally, and to see the contextual nature of gentrification. Gentrification involves diverse concepts so I will touch upon the different conceptualizations of gentrification.

1

One day in my first visit (2007). Two days in my second visit (2008 June). Four days during our recent trip for out in Bartın (2009 February).

In the second part of the research, I will discuss gentrification in Bartın following a general introduction to gentrification in Turkey. Here I will mention the classes and demographics of Bartın, gentrification projects and potential gentrification areas in Bartın. In the conclusion part, following a short summary of the research and the findings, I make further research suggestions. 2- Gentrification in urban studies
2.1. Class and gentrification

“Gentrification is the process; I would begin, by which poor and working-class neighborhoods in the inner city are refurbished via an influx of private capital and middle-class homebuyers and renters-neighborhoods that had previously experienced disinvestment and a middle-class exodus. The poorest working-class neighborhoods are getting a remake: capital and the gentry are coming home, and for some of their wake is not entirely pretty sight. Often as not ended the conversation, but is not occasionally led to exclamations that gentrification sounded like great idea: had I come up with?” (Smith, 1996)

Gentrification seems as a preferable and positive before Neil Smith. However, Smith seems gentrification as a displacement which lower-class displaced and upper-class settles Smith, 1996). Of course it is class oriented renewal from its origin but by the manipulations and the speculations of housing market and power of them its class orientation and always content a displacement of original population. For gentrification, class oriented change is essential. In Other words, we cannot think the gentrification without touch on its class and so a displacement and class struggle in the cities.
2.2. History of gentrification

The term "gentrification" is coined rather recently, although the concept itself, as a part of urban renewal, is old. Throughout the history of urban civilization, cities have grown, stagnated, and then decayed. Often the cities' residents or others have then rebuilt and revitalized the city (US History Encyclopedia). By the end of the nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century especially major cities of the United States and the

metropolises of Europe faced growing slums and blighted areas in older portions. 2 The decline included neglect and abandonment of public and private buildings in the old/historic quarters of the cities by the growth of poverty of the remaining residents, often recent immigrants, minorities, and the elderly. Urban decline in Europe and the United States became a prominent concern after World War II (1939–1945), and organizations, particularly the governments3 (in national and local dimension especially the municipalities) used various programs to attack the problem. These generally were termed urban renewal projects (US History Encyclopedia). In the emergence of “gentrification”, upgrading of housing and retail business in a neighborhood with an influx generally of private investment seems to be essential. However, by the restoration of rundown urban areas by the middle class; it seems that, this renewal caused a displacement of low-income residents from their neighborhoods. In other words, as a result of increased rents and property values in the renewed areas of cities, low income inhabitants in most of these inner cities ended up moving out of their houses. Therefore, in England, urban renewal became a term synonymously used with "gentrification". (http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=gentrification&sub=Search+WordNet&o2= &o0=1&o7=&o5=&o1=1&o6=&o4=&o3=&h= 22/04/2009)
2.3. Different conceptualizations and factors of gentrification

“Gentrification” normally refers to changes in urban neighborhoods. The dictionary definition is the rehabilitation and settlement of decaying urban areas by middle-and highincome people.4 These changes in urban neighborhood, means especially a demographic change in the “gentrification” areas so gentrification is a new dimension of struggle class. N. Smith (Smith, 1996) sees the motor of “gentrification” as the de-industrialization, and therefore loss in value of land, in the inner city (rent gap).

2

Shanty towns or squatter settlements in various part of the world, that are called gecekondu in Turkey, are different than inner-city slums, although they also provide housing for the poor.
3

In Turkey urban renewal is the on of the responsibilities of local governments especilly the municipalities by the 5505 numbered law.
4

However, the term "gentrification" also appears in material or popular culture. For instance, studies have been done on the gentrification of blue jeans, from the durable pants for gold miners to mass-marketing in the 1960s and transformation into high fashion items. I will not mention it because of it is not the main isue of this report.

According to Neil Smith,” gentrification” is through economics and the relationships between flows of capital and the production of urban space (Smith, 1987). Smith argued that during the two decades after World War II, low rents on the urban periphery (sprawls) led to a continuous movement of capital toward the development of suburban areas. Therefore the city lives a "devaluation" of inner-city capital, which resulting in the substantial abandonment of inner-city properties in favor of those in the periphery, and a consequent fall in the price of inner-city land relative to rising land prices in the suburbs(Smith, 1987). From this, Smith put forth his rent-gap theory, that describes the disparity between "the actual capitalized ground rent “(land price) of a plot of land given its present use and the potential ground rent that might be gleaned under a 'higher and better' use". For the process of “gentrification”, Smith supposes that the rent-gap theory was the fundamental explanation. He also defend that the developers, landlords, and other people with a vested interest in the development of land would see the potential profit to be had in reinvesting in inner-city properties and redeveloping them for new inhabitants when the rentgap was wide enough. Such redevelopment effectively closes the rent-gap and leads to higher rent, mortgage and lease rates (Smith, 1996). The de-industrialization of the inner-city is seen as a prerequisite. I think that the capitalist system set up this for its survival and to make profit by the transformation and by the speculations on market of immoveable possessions because the capitalist system think that it cannot survive(also become more powerful and expand its controls) without live transform itself. A loss of investment capital available to maintain the physical stock of urban neighborhoods causes precipitating a decline in the number of blue-collar jobs available for the urban working class. De-industrialization is often coupled with the growth of a divided white collar employment sector, one part of that is engaged in professional/managerial positions which follow the spatial centralization of capital. This is a product of capitalism that requiring spatial proximity to reduce decision-making time so capitalism needless to say prefer to return the city. Factors, which cause to the process of “gentrification”, are several. One factor is growth of job opportunities in the city (especially inner-city or even on its periphery, such as Silicon Valley in California, Route 128/95 in Massachusetts, or Fairfax County in Virginia) (http://www.answers.com/topic/gentrification entered in 23 may 2009). Young technical professionals, in other words the new rising middle-class (white-collar), move to the

revitalized areas of a city for a reverse-commute or to take the places of blue-collar who live at the center because in the 1970s and 1980s, corporations reinvested in central city districts and transformed them commercially and residentially (the greatest return of the capitalism to the center/inner-city). A second factor, that contributing to gentrification, is the housing market actually by perceiving the cities as merchandise by capitalism. As inner cities declined in the move to the suburbs5, city housing deteriorated, thus providing opportunity for housing speculators and rehabilitation, in other worlds for gentrification. Capitalism sought neighborhoods with gentrification potential to find bargain housing that could be renovated and sold for great profits but nowadays they do not called this “gentrification”, they used the nice world “urban rehabilitation” or “directly “urban renewal”. In fact, for those impoverished, evicted or made homeless in its wake, gentrification is indeed a dirty word and should stay a dirty word(Smith, 1996); because capitalism sought public housing was an early postwar solution to renovate or revitalize cities, because these usually massive structures deteriorated and governments sought other remedies and because public housing structures have been torn down and the land sold at relatively low prices to developers for new office buildings and gentrified housing because of gentrification is always means a displacement( a displacement which is involuntary moreover by force). The cultural life of the city can be as a third factor promoting conditions for gentrification and gentrifiers. This is a preference for the easy access to diverse people and diverse entertainment which the cities especially the inner-cities offer, this is, at the same time, means that, geography of a place is promoting conditions for gentrification 6. Growth in the number of artists living in the area is generally considered a sign of coming gentrification. For example, Kuzguncuk (and also Cihangir) has been able to chart gentrification and predict potential for new gentrified areas by following the settlement patterns of artists (first an architecture Cengiz Bektaş settle and he propose a rehabilitation project by his initiative for

5

In Turkey this process experienced so different especialy in Ankara. Ankara first move to its periphery(actually gecekondu areas like Mamak) until the 1980s but after 1980s its sprawl/jump to Ümitköy and Batıkent. After 1990s not the center move to these sprawls but also these sprawls(sub-centers) move to the center and Eskişehir way(two sie of it) and also the İstanbul way was get full of commercial and other facilities and new housing districts.
6

Genrtificaion of Cihangir is the best example in Turkey for the geographic reasons, which prometes conditions for gentrification, because it is so close to the Beyoğlu where lives a day 24 hours.

Kuzguncuk) over a period of years. Artists move to areas where there is plenty of space that is cheap and where they live in a traditional neighborhood. Cafes, bookstores, and theaters follow. The gentrifiers move in and the prices go up, forcing the artists to move on.
2.4. Contextual nature of gentrification

The academic environment in Turkey cannot translate or find an exact world which refines gentrification because gentrifications is not a universal world/concept but also “context depended” world/concept. Gentrification is have economical content but at the same time carrying to many cultural or local aspects so it cannot think or translate without considering its “context dependency” (Güvenç, 2006- Mimarist 39-45). Therefore in Turkey academicians use different worlds such as mutenelaştırma, güzelleştirme,iyileştirme, soylulaştırma or gentrifikasyon for different gentrification examples/types. Moreover, Bound and Morris claim that, gentrification type, start, method effected from local forms and national urban and economic conditions which shapes the urban fabric so there is not a gentrification model which is hegemonic in everywhere, every country or every time. Bilgin, especially call attention to cultural aspect of gentrification. He supports that, cultural investments can gentrify the around of it but not cause any displacement (Bilgin, 2006Mimarist 52-56). The understood of gentrification as not an independent process from the processes of transformation of cities’7 economics and social transformations is strengthen the argument of context dependency of gentrification. Especially the processes while a place is gentrifying and the difficulties of guessing how or when (because sometimes gentrification of a place can stops and continues after many years) gentrification will occur, is clarify the context dependency of gentrification. Gentrification usually occurs step by step and contains originalities. Its producer-consumer focused structure and social-spatial context make it original (özgün). In the examples in Paris, we see the government as the initiator by its cultural investments. Government of Paris, choices comparatively undeveloped parts of the city for make cultural investments like Pompidou Center and opera of Bastille (Keyder, 2006 Mimarist 46-51). Therefore, that districts’ statues start to rise again but this gentrification is

7

Gentrification is a part of a dynamic which appears at a phase of capitalism and so gentrification is the reflection of this dynamic to the urban space.

not includes uneven displacement but may be a slow and small changes in the demographics of that site because culture of districts, cities not the come from buildings but also come from inhabitants of that site 3- Gentrification in Bartın The city is surrounded by also with positive potentials and negative potentials. Bartın is an unstable city. Bartın where is at the West part of Black sea region is at 13km distance from Black sea (Map1.1- map1.2.)The city was surrounded Black sea from north, Kastamonu from east, Karabük from south and Zonguldak from west. City is surrounded from its three sides by the rivers Kocaçay and Kocanaz which constitute Bartın River. These two rivers are unifying at Gazhane cape and then spilled Black sea at Boğaz location (Map 1.3). We can easily say that city is surrounded by rivers by surrounded like city walls. For this reason city did not develop or spread too much and not jump over the river until 1980s. Population of Bartın is 47.082(city center) and the rate of urban population is %24 so Bartın is a province center where is not live the urbanization too fast.

Map 1.1 Bartın’s location in Turkey (Source: Bartın 2023)

Map 1.2-Bartın and its neighborhoods cities. (Source: http://www.bartinbelediyesi.com/bld/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id= 52&Itemid=72)

Map 1.3- river which is surrounding the city (Source: personal archive-Google earth view)

3.1. A glance at gentrification in Turkey.

Past of gentrification is new and too tight in Turkey. Only in İstanbul we can find gentrification areas and may be some small gentrification in some parts of Antalya, İzmir and Ankara. Therefore, in this part of the research I will mention about gentrification projects in İstanbul. History of gentrification in İstanbul starts at the ends of 1980s. In first wave Kuzguncuk, Arnavütköy and Çengelköy gentrified. Main factors of these gentrifications are geographic locations of these districts (they are at the Bosporus). In Kuzguncuk example gentrification start with the dedication of one means and flourished under his influence because of his reputation and his charisma (Uzun, 2001). Cengiz Bektaş, who is an architect and an author about culture and conservation, first he restored his house but he did not stop and he designed a project to repair and upgrade the communal areas and facilities in Kuzguncuk8 (Uzun, 2001). Main factor to choice Kuzguncuk was the preference for a particular life because the natives and the pioneers are still in the area so it can be called as a process in case of community action (I was organized this sentence from the Uzun’s report final paragraph p.126). In the Cihangir example, this was gentrified in the second wave of gentrification of İstanbul, gentrification stared when the entrepreneurs, sensing the demand, entered this advantageously located area, which is accessible to Taksim and İstiklal Street and offers a view of the Bosporus (Uzun), 2001. When I made a comparison between these two sites gentrification, in Kuzguncuk preservation of the neighborhood, in other words preservation of class structure and culture (integrating the lifestyle of the pioneers of the site) is essential. However in the Cihangir a spatial transformation experience during the process of gentrification of the area because almost all of the original population was displaces and this spatial transformation is continues. Cihangir lived an invasion of upper-class9 so displacement

8

I will mention about Kuzguncuk’s gentrficaion only a glance for the show the context dependency of gentrification. Cengiz Bektaş, who is the first gentrifier and who propose a project for Kuzguncuk propose five priorities in his design. First priority is renowate and restructure the small open space between the buildings by the shore. Second initiative concerned the decoration of İcadiye street. Third suggest was closing a part of Ayhan Street. Fourth proposal was to install an open-air theater on stps of Bereketli Street. His final undertaking was to repair the old public baths on the hill and use the buildings for cultural activities.
9

Called higher status in the writing of Uzun but I prefer more class oriented one and also more capital oriented one and so use the upper-class especially which it means rich people.

but Kuzguncuk was not. Kuzguncuk experienced a cultural and slow process (limited between 1970 to 1990) and more limited change then Cihangir. Fener-Balat is a rehabilitation (called gentrification project in Turkish academics environment (Mimarist-fall 2006)) project10 which is supported by UNESCO and E.U. It started after the Habitat conferences in İstanbul in 1996. Fener-Balat project is not propose any displacement of the original population but gentrification on only houses and a rehabilitation on social environment of the site. The project also proposes a social center. Municipality of Fatih and the UNESCO is the starter and the supporter of the project. (See map 1.4.)

Map 1.4: Fener-Balat in İstanbul. (Source: http://fenerbalat.org/index.php)

3.2. Class in Bartın.

10

“Fener and Balat Rehabilitation Programme”, implementations were started with the support of European Union’s € 7 million euros in January 2003. In the scope of the Program, restoration of old housing buildings as much as possible in the Quarters of Fener and Balat. Establishing a Social Centre, revitalising the historic Balat Market, and building a solid waste management system. Activities are still continuing participation of the inhabitants of the quarters. (http://www.deltur.cec.eu.int/!Publish/tr/PR%20-%202006-PressRelease-44.doc ) Starting date of the project: 2001- Duration: 4 years-Contribution: 7 million euros-Turkey's Contribution: 10 million euros-Programme-Partners: European Commission Fatih Municipality & Under secretariat of Treasury (www.deltur.cec.eu.int/ english/e-mali-sheets2.html)

To understand the class structure in Bartın I prefer use the socio-economic datum’s of the city and the speeches which made with muhtars of the city. (See table 1.19) Bartın is at the 55th sequence in socio-economic list of development list of Turkey between in the 4th degree of development cities and Bartın is 65th between 81 provinces of Turkey with its 1.061 $ per people income. Main economic activities of Bartın are agriculture, mining and trading (Bartın 2023, 2005). (see chart 1.1)

Chart 1.1 comparison of Bartın’s and Turkey’s income per people (source Bartın 2023-TUİK) If we look at the income of the Bartın per people, we see that Bartın’s income is almost half of Turkey’s average income for people. Therefore, I argue that rising middle-class and upper-class do not prefers stay in Bartın. They migrate to the cities where they can find more alternatives to work and more social/cultural facilities like cinema, theater, clubs, concert halls or football clubs and stadiums. Muhtars 11of the Bartın’s neighborhoods says that inhabitants of their neighborhoods are usually “blue-collar”, retired (older people) and unemployed (especially young people) (Özkan, interviews with muhtars, 2007). Muhtars are usually muhtar of their neighborhoods for 4-5 periods, in other words 15-20 years. This means that

11

Muhtars of Cumhuriyet, Çaydüzü, Esentepe, Gölbucağı, Kemerköprü, Kırtepe, Köyortası, Okulak, Orduyeri, Orta, Tuna neigbourhoods.

3.3. Gentrification projects in Bartın

The urban space in Bartın has transformed by means of sprawls both from the city towards the surrounding rural periphery, and from the rural areas towards the city. 4-Conclusion
Conclusion-Last words-Further researches & suggestions

Less negative more positive consequences of urban renewal. Slow and balanced change in the absence of sharp class differences may result in a more preferable spatial change for public benefit. We may talk about a cultural or ethnic gentrification rather than a class based gentrification.

References Cited
1. 1. http://www.answers.com/topic/gentrification downloaded on 30/04/2009 1.2. http://www.bartin74.net/index.asp downloaded on 30/04/2009 1.3. http://www.bartinbelediyesi.com/bld/ downloaded on 12 April 2009 1.4. http://www.bartin.info/ downloaded on 12 April 2009

1.5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9663.00263 downloaded on 19 April 2009 1.6. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=gentrification&sub=Search+WordNet&o2=&o0=1&o7 =&o5=&o1=1&o6=&o4=&o3=&h= downloaded on 18 April 2009 1.7. İslam, Tolga and Ciravoğlu Ayşen. Mimarist. sayı 21. Güz 2006. “Soylulaştırma ve İstanbul. 37-38. 1.8. Özden, Pelin Pınar, 2008. Kentsel Yenileme. İmge Yayınevi. Ankara and İstanbul. 1.9. Özkan, Emin. 2009. Interviews with Muhtars of Bartın neighborhoods http://www.bartin.info/GoHab.asp?id=4775- 4735- 4704- 4661- 4642- 4601- 4582- 4542- 4520- 44734464 downloaded on 12 April 2009. 1.10. Smith, Neil. 1996. The New Urban Frontier. Gentrification and the Revanchist City. Routledge. London and New York 1.11 Smith, Neil. 1987. Gentrification and the rent-gap, Annals of the Association of American Geographers 77 (3) pp. 462–465. 1.12. Uzun, Cemile Nil. 2001. Gentrification in İstanbul: A diagnostic study. KNAG. Utrecht. 1.13. Uzun, Cemile Nil. 2003. The impact of Urban Renewal and Gentrification in Urban Fabric: three cases in Turkey. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Middle East Technical University and Knag. Ankara and Utrecht