Habitat Unit

Doctoral Candidate

Yaşar Adnan Adanali

Yasar Adnan Adanali


Curriculum Vitae

Yaşar Adnan Adanalı is an Istanbul based urbanist, researcher and lecturer. He has a BA on social and political sciences from Sabanci University (Istanbul) and a master degree on development and planning: social development practice from Development Planning Unit, University College London (UCL). His PhD research in Habitat Unit is on relations of spatial production and democratisation processes in Istanbul. From 2010 to 2012, Yasar worked as a researcher on refugee camp improvement project of UNRWA. At the moment he teaches participatory planning course and housing studio at TU Darmstadt as a visiting scholar. He is a voluntary member of One Hope Association (Istanbul), a right based NGO working with informal settlements in Turkey. Yasar is a founding member of Beyond Istanbul, a trans-disciplinary, demand-responsive urban institute, focused on issues of spatial justice in Istanbul and beyond. He has initiated and coordinates several urban blogs and websites, including his personal blogs Reclaim Istanbul and Happy City.


Since 2010
Doctoral Dissertation, TU Berlin
(Working Title) Space, Politics, Transformation: Rethinking Urban Governance in Istanbul for Integrated Neighbourhood Planning. (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz).

2005 – 2006
Master of Science in Development Planning: Social Development Practice (M.Sc.), Development Planning Unit, University College London. (Thesis) War, Development and Children: Social Exclusion of Kurdish Children in Turkey. (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Robinson Rojas).

1999 – 2004
Bachelor of Art in Social and Political Sciences (B.A with hons.), Faculty of Art and Social Sciences, Sabanci University (Istanbul), GPA: 3.23/4.00.

Employment History+

Since 2013
EU Project on Local-Regional Democratic Governance in Turkey, Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly, Istanbul

Since 2010
Visiting Scholar
Mundus Urbano Masters Course, TU Darmstadt

2010 – 2012
Development Specialist
Department of International Urbanism, University of Stuttgart 

2008 – 2009
Civil Society Coordinator
5th World Water Forum Secretariat, Istanbul

Innovative Local Social Inclusion Policies Research Project, the Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London (UCL) 

Social Development Specialist
RED de Coordinacion Urbano Popular (The Urban Housing & Land Network), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2004 – 2005
Project Officer
Civic Involvement Projects (CIP) Office, Sabanci University, Istanbul

Research Projects+

Gecekondu hits the headlines: Researching the popular history of Turkey’s informal urbanization.

Funded by Studio X Istanbul.

Since 2013
Networks of Dispossession:Collective data compiling and mapping on the relations of capital and power in Turkey.

Since 2010
Doctoral Dissertation: Space, Politics, Transformation: Rethinking Urban Governance in Istanbul for Integrated Neighbourhood Planning. (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz).

2010 – 2012
Finalization of the Camp Improvement Manual for UNWRA, Consolidation of Participatory Approaches in the Design and Implementation Of Camp Improvement Plans (CIPs) Project, University of Stuttgart on behalf of GiZ.

2009 – 2010
The Role of Local Governments in the Cultural Sphere in Istanbul. 

Inventory of Istanbul’s Cultural Heritage and Culture, Economy Project, The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey

Mapping Forced Evictions in Istanbul. 

Open City Exhibition, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam IABR.

Women Guide to Diyarbakir. 

Open City Exhibition, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam IABR (with Superpool Istanbul).

Master of Science Dissertation: War, Development and Children: Exclusion of Kurdish Children in Turkey. DPU, UCL, London, UK. 

Improving Livelihood Situation of Street Children in Arusha

Tanzania, DPU field research. 

Social Impact Assessment of Community Development

Programs at New Cross Gate New Deal for Communities, London. 

NGOs Working With Street Children in South America

Sabancı University Grant

Teaching Activities+

Graduate Summer School: Urban Political Ecology on the Road: City’s Nature and Nature’s City Through Istanbul. Koc University Istanbul (Co-coordinator with Sinan Erensü, University of Minnesota)

Since 2010
Lecture Series: Participatory Planning and Design. Mundus Urbano Masters Course, TU Darmstadt

Since 2014
Lecture Series: Housing Project. Mundus Urbano Masters Course, TU Darmstadt

Visiting Lecture Series: Social Development and Poverty Reduction. Mundus Urbano Masters Course, Insitut d’Urbanisme de Grenoble, Grenoble University, France

2011 – 2013
Lecture Series: Integrated Actors and Needs Analysis. Integrated Urbanism and Sustainable Design Masters Course, Stuttgart University



(2015) Gecekondu Hits the Headlines: A Popular History of Turkey’s Informal Urbanization. Supported by Studio X Istanbu.


Book contributions 

(2015) Cities, Urban Transformation and Architecture During the AKP Period: Spatialization of Government, Economy, Opposition. In: İnal, K., Sancar, N., Gezgin, U.B. eds. Brand, Devotion, Sultan’s Signature: Culture and Politics in AKP Period. Evrensel.

(2013) Forum Mersin: A Mall at the Center of Life. In: Akgün, G., Çalışkan, Ç.O., Kaya, E., Koca, A. eds. Defending the Cities: On Space, Society and Politics. Notabene.

(2012) A collage from interviews with Yaşar Adanali (Istanbul), George Arbid (Beirut), Rami Daher (Amman) and Wael Samhouri (Damascus). In: Marianne Baumgartner, Krunoslav Ivanisin eds. Digital Architectural Papers. Middle East 1, Positions.


Refereed articles

(2011) Urban Struggles Around the World for The Right to the City: India, Dominican Republic, Brasil, Venezuela and USA. Education Science Society Journal, Vol.9, Issue 36.

with Sinan Erensü (2004) Turkey in the Eye of the Beholder: Tracking Perceptions on Turkey Through Political Cartoons. Kontur Journal, Aarhus University.


Other articles and publications

with Gribat, N. (2015). Das Unsichtbare sichtbar machen. Die Networks of Dispossession kartieren türkische Stadtentwicklungsprozesse. Ein Interview mit Yaşar Adnan Adanalı. In: sub\ urban. zeitschrift für kritische stadtforschung, 3(1), 153-164.

(2014) The Politics of Space: Syrian Refugee Camps in Turkey. Trialog Journal for Planning and Building in the Third World.

(2014) From ‘Urban Transformation’ to ‘Attentive Improvement’: In Search of a New Paradigm in Spatial Policies, Architecture Journal of the Chambers of Architects Turkey, Issue 378.

(2014) The Right to the City Struggle in Turkey: Istanbul’s Gezi Park Uprising. Moving towards the implementation of the right to the city in Latin America and internationally, HIC.

(2013) Istanbul is on fire: OccupyGezi and Tarlabasi Urban Renewal Project. Le Monde Diplomatique, Germany.

(2013) OccupyGezi: The Park Revolution-Reclaiming, rethinking, re-producing space and democracy in Istanbul. In: Topos: European landscape magazine, (85), 46.

(2012) Ideas City: Istanbul or 'How to obtain a building permit for Central Park? (Online Publication).

(2012) Urban Transformation and Law on Disaster Prevention: A Pretext for Lucrative Investment. Perspectives Magazine, Heinrich Böll Stiftung, No.3.13. 

(2012) The Taksim ‘Museum’: Construction of Spaces of Power By the State of Emergency Urbanism. Evrensel Kültür, No.252.

(2012) The Changing Lifes with Urban Transformation: Shifting the Apricot tree to the Terrace Garden of a Residence. In: Evrensel Kültür, No.248.

(2012) The Reign of Madness in Istanbul: Economies of Scale of Urban Transformation: In: Trialog Journal for Planning and Building in the Third World, No.108.

(2011) De-spatialized Space as Neoliberal Utopia: Gentrified Istiklal Street and Commercialized Urban Spaces. Red Thread Magazine, Issue 3.

(2010) The Role of Local Municipalities in the Cultural Sphere in Istanbul. Inventory of Istanbul’s Cultural Heritage and Culture Economy Project, The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul (Unpublished Report). 

(2009) Istanbul: Living in Voluntary and Involuntary Exclusion. Refuge Diwan Publication, Rotterdam (Co-Editor).

(2007) Innovative Policies for Social Inclusion, UCLG, Barcelona (Co-Editor).

Grants, Awards, and Fellowships+

The Guardian, Best City Blogs Around the World Selection for reclaimistanbul.com

Chambers of Planners Best Internet Journalist Award
awarded for mutlukent.wordpress.com (happy city blog)

MSc. Dissertation Commendation
University College London

2005 – 2006
European Union Jean Monnet Scholarship
awarded full scholarship for one-year graduate program at UCL, London, UK.

Travel Grant for South America
Sabancı University, Istanbul

Other Projects+

Beyond Istanbul

Curated Walks
Organizer of curated Istanbul walks and on-the-road lectures for universities and international organisations including University of Roskilde, University of Kassel, TU Darmstadt, the Funen Art Academy, Koç University, British Council, UN Habitat, The Swedish Association of Architects