Resilience of a contested high street: The changing image of Tunali Hilmi Street in Ankara, Turkey

Date
2020
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Journal of Urban Affairs
Print ISSN
0735-2166
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Taylor and Francis
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English
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Article
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Abstract

Globally designed shopping spaces constitute a threat to on-street retail, which provides citizens a mix of activity patterns, including shopping, leisure and socializing. Consumers seem to prefer controlled mall environments due to problems in urban centers such as heavy traffic, limited parking, crowding, density and security concerns. The Turkish situation, however, indicates a different trend, with lively inner-city streets coexisting with highly acclaimed shopping malls. This paper addresses changing retail patterns on Tunali Hilmi Street, the first high street in Ankara, which reflects socio-economic and cultural dynamics of the last two decades in urban Turkey. This is a result of organic changes in the street’s historical and demographic features as well as in Turkey’s broader political and cultural environment. Since the millennium, the street has lost its distinctive quality as well as much of its upper-class clientele. The new visitor profile has been perceived by previous users as an invasion and threat to modern urban life. Recently, immigrants and refugees are starting to be seen on the street due to a nearby immigration office, which has caused further reaction. The paper’s extended timespace analysis of Tunali Hilmi Street reflects an overall shift in urban life in Turkey

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Published Version (Please cite this version)