Urban food security and contemporary Istanbul: Gardens, bazaars and the countryside
AuthorKaldjian, Paul Jeremy
AdvisorBonine, Michael E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractTo the visitor, Istanbul, Turkey is flush with food. But food supply and access to food can be unrelated. Socioeconomic, demographic and development data suggest food security problems for a significant portion of the population. After World War II, migrants to Istanbul from Anatolia who built house gardens within their original squatter settlements (gecekondus) have sold their lands or turned them into apartments. Similarly, only fragments of the traditional network of commercial, intensive urban gardens ( bostans) in Istanbul remain. In addition, the expanding system of European style supermarkets and commercial production in the global marketplace are changing the traditional urban food networks built around such institutions as the neighborhood bazaar. To begin to understand the shifting components of Istanbul's food system, information from numerous sources was gathered and analyzed. The main field data of my research are interviews with Istanbul farmers and residents; interviews with government officials, academics, and professionals; official and unofficial statistics from governments and associations; and surveys. Supplementary information is from Turkish newspaper sources, library materials, and various books and maps. Through kinship relations, labor mobility, the availability of formal and informal economic and transportation networks and the persistence of small, family farms nationwide, food security in Istanbul is supported by food individually and communally transferred from the countryside. Subsistence agricultural production across rural Turkey appears to play a vital role in feeding the urban population through informal food delivery and distribution channels. Thus, despite reductions in rural populations and appearances that rural and agricultural communities are declining, their productivity may be as important as ever. With their emphases on resource use, adaptation, consideration of multiple scales, and the exercise of local agency within structures of power and wealth, political and cultural ecology provide perspectives from which to meaningfully analyze food security needs and practices in Istanbul. Such a framework is enhanced by contributions from research in food systems and food security. Time centered tactics, exchange entitlements and food accessibility within the city cannot be understood apart from its relationship to the countryside.
Degree ProgramGraduate College