The rise of the shopping mall in Turkey: the use and appeal of a mall in Ankara
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The shopping mall as the site of contemporary consumption has long been attracting the attention of various researchers analyzing socio-spatial dynamics in different cultures. It is the focus of this study of recent transformations in Turkish metropolises, due to its primary influence on urban life. As an initial attempt to understand the Turkish situation, a field survey was carried out in Bilkent Shopping Center, a newly built shopping mall in a high-income suburban area of the capital city, Ankara. Some long-lasting assumptions about Western consumption trends and shopping mall development were tested to provide clues for dynamics in a developing country. In addition to statistical analyses of data obtained from structured interviews, various observations were used to enrich the survey. Although shopping mall development seems to be a part of a global trend, there exist socio-cultural influences creating local patterns in the use of the mall. These patterns differ with user characteristics, such as gender, age and occupation, as well as the time of visit. This paper suggests that shopping mall development poses a number of policy issues for planning bodies and these issues need to be addressed with an awareness of the local context.