International Development Planning Review

The making and unmaking of Tarlabasi, Istanbul: an account of territorial stigmatisation

International Development Planning Review (2021), 43, (4), 435–460.


Territorial stigmatisation has been drawing attention in the past decade as an important concept in analysing the bad reputation of run-down neighbourhoods and how this bad reputation is used and produced by state agencies. Especially, the links between territorial stigmatisation and urban policies that are followed by state-led gentrification processes have been an emerging discussion in this analysis of understanding the phenomenon of stigmatised places.

This paper aims to examine the links and relationships between the concepts of territorial stigmatisation, state-led gentrification and state power in the neighbourhood of Tarlabasi in historic Istanbul. The questions this paper responds to through the analysis of Tarlabasi are: What were the motivations of agencies of power to mobilise stigmatisation of Tarlabasi during urban renewal projects? Why did territorial stigmatisation increase during processes of state-led gentrification? How did the inhabitants of Tarlabasi behave in the face of increased stigma? The paper concludes with reflections on the use of territorial stigmatisation as a tool and accelerator for urban renewal/regeneration/transformation projects as well as its use as a mechanism by which to procure consent from the public.

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Author details

Can, Aysegul