Chapter

M<i>ülk Allah'ındır</i> (‘This House is God's Property’) Legitimizing Land Ownership in the Suburbs of Istanbul

Jean-François Pérouse

in Popular Housing and Urban Land Tenure in the Middle East

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9789774165405
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781617971358 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774165405.003.0012
Mülk Allah'ındır (‘This House is God's Property’) Legitimizing Land Ownership in the Suburbs of Istanbul

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This chapter focuses on informality in the city of Istanbul, and underlines the overuse of the term gecekondu. He shows that the public authorities themselves breach property laws and distort the notion of public property. He argues of the existence of a real-estate mafia, and describes the processes used by various formal and informal authorities to facilitate property embezzlement. Due to land shortages, title deeds are often canceled in the name of the fight against crime and terrorism, thus opening the way to lucrative deals. The study of the discourse and standards used by social actors to justify their actions shows how a façade of legality (formal law) is nonetheless maintained.

Keywords: Public property; informality; title deeds cancelation; formal law; real-estate mafia; Istanbul

Chapter.  7167 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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