Negotiating Solidarity and Conflict within a Neighbourhood. Gülsuyu-Gülensu and the Scale of Politics
Özkaya, Derya – 2020
Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in 2017 in one of the poor urban neighbourhoods in Istanbul, this chapter explores the role of politics in the making of neighbourhood and resistance, particularly in the context of increasing local and regional conflicts. Instead of discussing neighbourhood as a homogeneous or heterogeneous entity, this chapter argues that taking neighbourhood as a scale of analysis helps us to understand how both function together to make the neighbourhood a space for creating politics on multiple levels. While trying to scrutinise the complicated networks among diverse roles and practices of local and (inter)national actors in the Gülsuyu-Gülensu neighbourhood, this chapter proposes that neighbourhood is not only a place of politics; it also enables contentious politics and claim-making. Combining the empirical data collected through in-depth interviews with the residents and political activists, participant observation, and archival research on newspapers and social media, the chapter argues that the neighbourhood is simultaneously a space of coexistence, solidarity, hostility, and political contestation that allows certain claims to be made while hindering others.