54th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional development & globalisation: Best practices", 26-29 August 2014, St. Petersburg, Russia
As an extension of the urban regeneration process initiated in Turkey during the years of 2000, the concept of renewal-based preservation approach is being implemented through rehabilitation and regeneration projects designed for areas of cultural heritage. Once the capital holders and the political power discovered the financial benefits to be endowed by cultural heritage into the fields of tourism and urban profits, such projects of rehabilitation and regeneration displace the projects of conservation. In this process, instead of the building which is classified as a cultural heritage, the piece of land on which it is located is considered as an area of investment in the real-estate capital market. Therefore, and in line with this consideration, such implementations of demolishing the old buildings and constructing new buildings in their place, or constructing new buildings referencing the past, are supported by laws, even to the extent that legislation alterations are made contrary to conservation. As such, regeneration projects generally implemented utilizing public financing and public mediation are rapidly realized instead of achieving the concept of integrated conservation planning which envisages transparent, participatory, partaker development. Hence, gentrifications turn out to be inevitable through the functional alterations of the cultural heritage areas which are regenerated as touristic, commercial and recreational areas. However, disowning the public and societal benefits targeted at with the concept of conservation, the urban regeneration and/or renewal that slid over to urban value increase concept is evaluated as success in urban conservation. This state will be examined through the Hamamönü area which is registered as a preservation area by law and which is an area that exhibits the traditional, historical and urban weaving of the city of Ankara. Hamamönü project was initiated in the year 2006 and a large proportion of it is completed. The implementation of rehabilitation projects with its different phases and methods were first started to be applied over this area. This area is selected as the case to be studied since it discloses the conservation policies implemented in Turkey.