Prospects, policies and practices of mass housing in Turkey, 1960s – 1980s: housing the middle class with the Sincan – Elvanköy New Town experiment

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Bilkent University
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The thesis comparatively examines the mutual dynamics of the housing problem in distinctive settings to track the traces of housing policies and practices in Turkey. After the proclamation of the Republic, the housing problem gained momentum with the relocation of the bureaucratic nucleus to the capital Ankara. In order to compose the life patterns of the national bourgeoisie in this city, housing policies were oriented toward the aspirations of the bureaucrats and civil servants, constituting the backbone of the middle-class in Turkey. The government enacted particular policies and established distinctive institutions to operate and finance housing production; these initiatives primarily contributed to the individual efforts of the middle-class in Ankara until the end of the Second World War. In the meantime, the housing supply flourished with cooperatives, mass housing companies, local authorities, yap-satçı and gecekondu in response to the rapid urbanization of the city center. Therefore, middle-class families preferred mass housing settlements in uncharted territories of Ankara, accelerating the formation of satellite cities disconnected from the urban centers. The prominent mass housing practices reframe the discourses and debates connected with the new middle-class as an emerging social component that claimed attention in Ankara after the 1960s. With the particular interest in the suburban mass housing experiment for the middle-class in Ankara after the 1980s, the thesis investigates Sincan – Elvanköy New Town to manifest intertwined dynamics of the national and international architectural debate. Sincan – Elvanköy New Town achieved a breakthrough considering the direct connection with the railway and highway, integrating the mass housing settlement and the urban fabric on a nodal point. Therefore, the aim of the thesis is to investigate and demonstrate the evolving dynamics of the housing problem in architectural discourse, pondering on mass housing settlements as the core discussion in the architectural agenda of Turkey in the 1960s–1980s.

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Housing problem, Housing policies, Middle class, Mass housing settlements, Sincan – Elvanköy New Town experiment
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