Gecekondu settlements in Turkey: Rural-urban migration in the developing European periphery
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Squatter settlements or "shanty towns" are often viewed as a problem confined to poorer countries of the developing world. Turkey is centered neither in the impoverished Third World nor the industrialized West, but has experienced rapid urban growth and related modernizing social tensions attendant with its headlong pitch into the European Union (E.U.) and European affairs. This article considers Turkey's urban poverty and unauthorized settlements within the broader agenda of United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) and the wider region of Europe, and offers a regional study for geography educators focused on National Geography Standards for places, migration and settlement. The gecekondu, Turkey's version of a squatter town, offers a case study of the causes, effects, and regional patterns of urban growth in a country with European ambitions yet still shaped by developing rural-to-urban migration.