Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Imagining Istanbul`s green future(s): environmental governance and human-nonhuman relationalities and encounters  
Anna Zadrożna (Institute of Anthropology, University of Gdańsk)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines human-nonhuman relationalities that shape/emerge through politics and practices of environmental governance in Istanbul. As political polarization deepens in Turkey, what ontological and empirical premises shape the governance of urban green? What kind of future(s) is envisioned?

Paper long abstract:

In spring of 2022, 129 plane trees were cut in Istanbul due to a fungal disease. As they grew along one of the city`s most recognizable street, the trees’ removal soon ignited a political quarrel. Whereas the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality justified its decision by providing a scientific report, some government representatives challenged its credibility and accused the Municipality of neglect and hidden agenda.

Drawing on several months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted on Istanbul’s green spaces governance, this paper examines human-nonhuman relationalities that shape and emerge through politics and practices of environmental governance in Turkey. As political polarization deepens in the country, opening and successful governance of urban parks become ways of exercising political power and displaying efficiency. In this context, the paper addresses the following questions. Which governance practices are preferred, by whom, and why, and what are their ontological and empirical premises? What concepts such as “national garden” (millet bahçesi), urban ecosystems, or “green space increase” tell us about human-nonhuman relationalities, hierarchies of power, and structures of governance? Selected key terms such as wild (yaban), clean (temiz), controlled (kontrollu), and natural (doğal) will facilitate our understanding of the role of aesthetics, affect, and collective belonging in shaping the ways in which humans perceive and engage with green spaces and nonhumans. Finally, if Istanbul`s future(s) is envisioned as “green”, to whom it belongs? I critically examine the idea of quantifiable progress, its premises, and tangible results. I also bring in the question of entanglements and their importance for planetary survival.

Panel P139a
New Directions in Middle East Anthropology
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -