Global transformations versus local dynamics in Istanbul
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Istanbul, as the greatest metropolis of Turkey and one of the great cities of the world, has been rapidly transforming in recent years. This paper analyzes various aspects of this transformation to lead to an understanding of an appropriate strategy for metropolitan governance. Recent politicial developments indicate an apparent fragmentation of Istanbul citizens into segments with different expectations and life-styles that make new strategies of governance urgent and vital, yet harder. Istanbul is an arena waiting for the invasion of different citizen groups with different ethnic, religious and communal backgrounds. Although Turkish urban policy has never been welfare-oriented, market and outward orientation has never been so dominant. Policy issues seem to help the articulation with the world economy and to make Istanbul more attractive for foreign capital. Urban politics and government cover only a limited area of urban dynamics in Istanbul. A new approach to governance requires a strategic change in the state of mind of elected municipal officials towards the integration of various communities into governing practices, regardless of their bases of formation. Recent developments give clues about the governance potential in Turkish metropolises. Istanbul, with its urgent problems, may constitute a case study for other cities in Turkey.