Anatomy of a right to shelter struggle in an authoritarian regime:

Dikmen Valley

Oznur Yardimci

Published in Issue 2.2 // Updates

Keywords: right to shelter struggle, reclaiming citizenship, authoritarian state, Dikmen Valley


The Covid19 pandemic has unveiled the cruciality of cities for people, not for profit. Many urban scholars and activists have long addressed the social costs driven by profitable redevelopment of urban space in an increasingly top-down manner, the most significant of which was the mass displacement of low-income and socially marginalized people. Housing activism mobilized in areas targeted for redevelopment received broad attention as struggles against neoliberalism. Nevertheless, this focus on the market-led processes and attendant sufferings may overlook state attempts at drawing people into urban redevelopment and people’s negotiations with that, as well as their contestations over exclusion. Focusing on the evolution of Dikmen Valley’s right to shelter struggle within the increasingly authoritarian regime in Turkey, this update contributes to the rethinking of rights-based struggles over housing by reframing state-citizen relations, as well as challenging the priorities of the market.

Öznur Yardımcı is an ESRC postdoctoral fellow in Sociology/Centre for Urban Research at the University of York. Her research concerns struggles over city/housing in urban regeneration settings and their implications for reframing the ‘good’ citizen.

Download PDF

See article reference