AN ANALYSIS OF THE CHANGING ROLE OF ISTANBUL AS A MEGACITY IN THE WORLD

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Abstract Summary
Istanbul is a unique part of the world because of not only its history, but also its function as a bridge from the point of economic, social, cultural interrelations. There are many cities which are settled near a water source; however, Istanbul is the only city that is settled between two continents and two seas. All these features create some opportunities and threats for the city in terms of hinterland relations and the spatial structure. According to the projections, the population is going to be reached nearly 18 million people in the near future. On one hand, Istanbul is an avant garde city for Turkey and its region. Economic impact of Istanbul is very high; according to the Turkish Statistic Office, 43% of the total taxes are collected and 55% of economic activities are produced in İstanbul. Together with adjacent cities (Kocaeli and Tekirdağ) in the metropolitan region, this ratio reaches more than 50% of taxes an 65% of economic activities in Turkey. Additionally, more than 12 million tourists visit the city in 2018. On the other hand, not only the city of Istanbul and the rural towns within the boundaries of the city, but also other cities in Turkey and near countries such as Balkan and Middle East as well as Africans, which play an essential role supporting and providing resources of foods, labor, industrial activities, raw materials etc. to the city of İstanbul. As well as economic situation, social and cultural transition between the different groups makes the city unpredictable core of the region. Different ethnic/religious groups and immigrants live in the city together. Obviously, there is no border between these different groups in daily life. Beyond all that, Istanbul is a big exporter of the Turkish TV series to the neighbors of the country especially in the Middle East and the Balkans. This paper aims to find out the economic, social and cultural impact of globalization on the spatial structure and the hinterland relations of Istanbul while discussing the city’s contradictory positions as an edge of Europe and as a bridge between the East and the West. Within this scope, we will make a multiscale analysis considering inter-regional and inter-urban relations and their socio-spatial imprints within the boundaries of the city. Firstly, we will make a comparative analysis to understand the changing position of Istanbul in the world in the 21st century by using global and regional indexes. Secondly we will examine the change in the hinterland relations of the city by investigating the flows of people, goods, services and ideas between other regions / cities and the city of İstanbul in time. Thirdly, we will seek the spatial imprints of these flows and interactions within the city in terms of relocations and displacements. Our study is likely to show the growing importance of the city not only as a part of Europe but also as a node and bridge for the globalized world.
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ISO408
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