Rural gentrification in the North Aegean Countryside (Turkey)

Arzu Başaran Uysal, Ipek Sakarya


This article examines rural gentrification as experienced on the North Aegean coasts of Turkey. The study area chosen is the closest Aegean coast to İstanbul and it attracts attention because of its archeological and mythological values, as well as its natural beauty and vernacular landscape. The most important element determining the rural landscape of the region is olive production.

Depopulation in rural areas since 1950s and development of tourism in coastal areas after 1980 has brought about the investment-disinvestment cycle which is in the rural gentrification theory. The migration from urban to rural and tourism activities, which began in the rural area studied in 1980s, gained momentum in 2000s, real estate prices rose. It has been observed that in the rural area where tourism facilities have been improved, gentrification occurs in parallel. It is possible to categorize the newcomers as summer house vacationists, retired people, national elite and entrepreneurs. The study is based principally on in-depth interviews with village mukhtars, local people, newcomers, tourism entrepreneurs, and professionals. Newcomers and new economies change the rural landscape. However, the real estate market did not yet play a significant role in the rural gentrification in this area, unlike in developed Western countries. On the other hand, replacement of the agricultural sector by the service sector and change in land use creates post-productive landscape in North Aegean Countryside.


Rural gentrification, rural landscape, rural transformation, Adatepe

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