The politics of squatter(gecekondu) studies in Turkey: the changing representations of rural migrants in the academic discourse
Sage Publications Ltd.
983 - 1002
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This article aims to develop a critical approach to squatter (gecekondu) studies in Turkey and investigates the various representations of the gecekondu people in these studies in different periods by placing them in their social, political and economic contexts. It details changes in the representation of the gecekondu population from the ‘rural Other’ in the 1950s and 1960s, to the ‘disadvantaged Other’ in the 1970s and early 1980s, to the ‘urban poor Other(s)’, the ‘undeserving rich Other(s)’ and the ‘culturally inferior Other(s) as Sub-culture’ between the mid 1980s and mid 1990s, and nally to the ‘threatening/varos¸lu Other’ in the late 1990s. It asserts that, while the approach to the gecekondu people varies from an e´litist one, to one which is sympathetic to the gecekondu people, this group, nevertheless, has been consistently the ‘inferior Other’ for Turkish gecekondu researchers.