September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Informal Settlements

Country: Turkey
Delegate Name: Evan Puzzuoli

Informal settlements are housing areas that lack “security of tenure, access to basic services and city infrastructure, and compliance with city planning or building regulations.” That said, over 1.5 billion people live in informal settlements. The main problem with informal housing is that the homes that are being inhabited are not fit for living in, clean, or safe. The informal settlements are usually in cities. Some of the reasons why informal settlements are so common are because of the high cost of housing inside cities and poverty. Some solutions have been to have the inhabitants purchase the land, or have the government build housing.

In Turkey, there are informal settlements, known as Gecekondu. According to author Robert Neuwirth, 50% of Istanbul’s population live in Gecekondu homes. The start of Gecekondu living in Istanbul was the mid 1940’s. The Gecekondu cities were seen as a way of housing workers and increasing industrialization, as a result the Turkish government for the most part overlooked the Gecekondu cities. Turkey has offered amnesties for a limited time to Gecekondu cities in the past as an attempt at formalizing the developments.

Some solutions to the issue of informal settlements that Turkey has used which may be of use to the other countries experiencing this issue are the toleration of the settlements, or attempts to formalize the settlements.

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