Squatter (gecekondu) housing versus apartment housing - Turkish rural-to-urban migrant residents perspectives
91 - 106
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Erman, T. (1997). Squatter (gecekondu) housing versus apartment housing: Turkish rural-to-urban migrant residents' perspectives. Habitat International, 21(1), 91-106.
Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/11078
This paper investigates the meaning of squatter (gecekondu) and apartment housing for rural-to-urban migrant residents and their perceptions and preferences regarding this issue in the context of Turkey. The research, conducted in Ankara in a gecekondu settlement, a newly developing apartment district and an established apartment district, reveals that gecekondu and apartment housing hold different meanings for their different types of residents. Gecekondu housing is perceived very positively by those rural migrants who are oriented to the rural community, particularly for the ‘gecekondu-rooted’ women who spend much of their time in the neighbourhood. This is so because of the way of life gecekondu housing provides, for example, close relationship, with neighbours and spontaneous relationships with the outside. On the other hand, the association of gecekondu settlements with rural migrants in the larger society creates a very negative perception of gecekondu housing in the case of those rural migrants who are oriented to established urban society, particularly for young women (‘younger modernizers’). Low standard of housing, and inadequate services and infrastructure are major problems with squatter housing shared by all residents. On the other hand, apartment housing is perceived by its rural migrant residents as a means of becoming closer to established urban society, and hence as a means of granting them higher status. Unlike the case of gecekondus, this perception of apartments creates a general feeling of satisfaction and a higher degree of commitment among apartment residents, shaping their preferences for apartments. Apartments are further perceived as housing environments which offer ‘clean and comfortable lives’ and urban services to their residents. However, apartment residence is not preferred by those migrants, particularly women, who are oriented to rural community and who need community support and ‘squatter spirit’ in their lives. Gender, time spent in the city, socio-economic status and age were found to be associated with gecekondulapartment preferences of migrants. Copyright 0 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd