Istanbul’s “Age-Driven” Spaces

By: Berfin Varisli  

Ageing population and urbanization are two important factors that have main impact on shaping the twenty-first century. There is an increase in population of elderly people in Turkey as in many contemporary European countries. In parallel, cities continue to grow very rapidly as the number of their residents aged over 65 years increases. The adaptation of urban spaces for the needs of elderly population who live in those cities poses one of the issues to be investigated. Istanbul, the highest populated city in Turkey with its more than 14 million population, is also home for many elderly people. Despite the common problems of any metropolitan city such as crowdedness, traffic jams, noise and rush hour commotions, Istanbul has many hidden and/or outward spaces that elderly people prefer to visit often, meet their peers and enjoy their time there. This paper has three aims: one is to evaluate Istanbul in terms of age-friendliness, secondly to be a voice of 65+ aged Istanbulites by discussing their current situation, well-being and expectations from their city; thirdly to explore urban spaces of Istanbul, inwhich are prepared for elderly people’s needs. In order to fulfil those aims, a series of in-depth and focused group interviews were carried out with inhabitants of Istanbul from different social and economic backgrounds, education levels, and age groups.

Ageing, Community-driven Spaces, Urban Ageing, Istanbul
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Berfin Varisli

Assist. Prof., Sociology, Maltepe University, Turkey

I have a PhD degree in Sociology from Maltepe University, Turkey and currently working as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology in the same university. I have received M.A. degree on Political Behaviour from University of Essex, UK and B.A. in International Relations from Bilkent University, Turkey. My research interests are ageing studies, social change especially in Turkey, urban studies, gender studies and masculinities studies.