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Global Development Institute

Turkey's urbanization-led development strategy: impacts and manifestations in Ankara

This research is focused on the emergence, impacts and limitations of Turkey’s contemporary development strategy in which state-coordinated urbanisation has replaced industrialisation as the primary engine of economic growth.

This research is focused on the emergence, impacts and limitations of Turkey’s contemporary development strategy in which state-coordinated urbanisation has replaced industrialisation as the primary engine of economic growth. This development strategy includes mechanisms that (re)distribute “urban rent” through “solidarity networks,” and as a result it enjoys significant public support and is politically sustainable. The political movement (and party) now led by President Erdoğan became successful in institutionalising and harmonising the objectives of transforming cities and (re)distributing urban rents, first at the level of local governments in the mid-1990s, and at the national level from 2002 onwards. Choosing Ankara as a case to study, the research shows how urbanisation became the cornerstone of Turkey’s national development strategy, how consent among urban residents is secured, what impacts this strategy has had on urban residents, and the limits that it is beginning to encounter.

This project is being carried out by Seth Schindler and Mustafa Kemal Bayırbağ, it is a Newton Advanced Fellowship