Özgün Özçakır

Job title
Postdoctoral Researcher at Arts and Culture Studies Department, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Dr. Özgün Özçakır is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, School of History, Culture and Communication, Department of Arts and Culture Studies. An architect by training, dr. Özçakır specializes in the heritage field. Within the “heritage under threat” theme of the centre, he focuses on the policy and practice of urban development (especially in Turkey) and their potential negative impact on conservation and sustainability of urban heritage places.

Urban heritage places are in constant change due to the shifting needs and demands of the societies. In such a dynamic setting, urban development, and regeneration projects (UDRPs) are implemented by public decision-makers in the various regions. UDRPs can be an opportunity for sustainable development and conservation as soon as integrated preservation principles are adopted, and the UN SDGs framework is reflected during the design and implementation. Though, in many cases, UDRPs are a threat to sustainability and conservation. The projects mostly focus on economic benefit than the preservation and sustainability of urban heritage places, especially in those located at the centre of the cities due to their high economic potential.

To initiate economic benefit-oriented UDRPs, new policy instruments that give extensive rights to local and central authorities are enacted. Though the policies for the conservation of cultural heritage were quite strict in Turkey, the new laws give extensive rights such as expropriation, and the new regulations become a “threat” for heritage themselves. Thanks to the rights granted by new laws, many UDRPs in Turkey mostly proposes forced displacement of the residents after the expropriation of historic properties that they live in (i.e., Sulukule and Tarlabaşı in İstanbul, Saraçoğlu Quarter in Ankara).

Relevant publications 

  • Özçakır, Özgün, Bilgin Altınöz, A. Güliz, Mignosa, Anna (forthcoming). “A Tool for Identifying Post- Intervention Value Shifts in Heritage: Places: Heritage Value Circle.” Shifting Values, edited by Julia Ess, Eva Maria Froschauer, Elke Richter and Clara Jiva Schulte, Birkhäuser
  • Özçakır, Özgün, Bilgin Altınöz, A. Güliz, Mignosa, Anna (2019) “Revealing the Relationship Between Interventions & Physical, Social and Economic Aspects for Assessing the Sustainability of Urban Heritage Places” in International Conference on Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals. 26-28 November 2019, TU Delft, The Netherlands.
  • Özçakır, Özgün, Bilgin Altınöz, A. Güliz, Mignosa, Anna (2018) “Political Economy of Renewal of Heritage Places in Turkey,” METU Journal of Faculty of Architecture. DOI: 10.4305/METU. JFA.2018.1.10
  • Özçakır, Özgün, Bilgin Altınöz, A. Güliz, Mignosa, Anna (2017) “The Impact of Politics and Ideology on the Transformation of Heritage Values: Hacı Bayram District in Ankara, Turkey,” in M. Menezes, D. R. Costa, & J. D. Rodrigues (eds.), IMaTTe 2017 Proceedings (pp. 241-252). Paper presented at IMaTTe, 2017 – Intangibility Matters: International Conference on the Values of Tangible Heritage, 29-30 May 2017, Lisbon, Portugal.
  • Özçakır, Özgün (2016) “In-Between Preservation of Cultural Heritage and Economics: The Values of “Renewal Projects” in Cultural Heritage Sites in Turkey.” ACEI 2016, 19th International Conference on Cultural Economics, 21 – 24 June 2016, Valladolid, Spain.
Özgün Özçakır
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