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Kuzguncuk Vegetable Gardens, Turkey


Kuzguncuk Vegetable Garden or Ilias Vegetable Garden as the locals know it, is a 16,5 decare land located at the heart of Kuzguncuk quarter that has gradually lost its vegetable garden characteristic but is maintained as a green space. Its 300/360 share ratio was transferred to the General Directorate of Foundations in 1966 and the remaining 60/360 share in 1977. There is no clear information regarding this ownership transfer process. The land title is registered as vegetable garden with a shack.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kuzguncuk Vegetable Gardens, Turkey
Location of conflict:Kuzguncuk, Uskudar, Istanbul
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Establishment of reserves/national parks
Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Fruits and Vegetables
Biological resources
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:1.64
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:1986
Company names or state enterprises:Turkish Republic General Directorate of Foundations from Turkey
Relevant government actors:Turkish Republic General Directorate of Foundations, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Bosphorus Development Directorate, Turkish Republic Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board Directorate numbered 6
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Association of Kuzguncuk Community, Istanbul Chamber of City Planners
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Trade chambers
Forms of mobilization:Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsloss of cultural heritage
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Land demarcation
Strengthening of participation
Fostering a culture of peace
Development of alternatives:Architects from Kuzguncuk have developed an alternative project to that of the General Directorate of Foundations in which the vegetable garden is opened up to the Kuzguncuk communitys use in a variety of aspects. This project can be seen at the following link (Turkish):
This project has been presented to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Board numbered 6.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Even though the conflict is ongoing, the 1992 and 2000 initiatives resulted in two successes. However, it can be observed that this success is temporary. For this reason, necessary preparations are ongoing at the legal level as well as regarding alternative projects in order to achieve a permanent solution.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Bosphorus Building Code numbered 2960, relevant development/construction regulations

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[click to view]

Radikal (Newspaper in Turkish):
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Neset Kutlug on behalf of BOG
Last update08/04/2014
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