Beyond Istanbul is a cross-disciplinary, independent, demand-responsive urban institute, focused on issues of spatial justice in Istanbul and beyond. We are academics, artists, activists and urban researchers based in Istanbul. Our passion for the city and our urban praxis bring us together.
Beyond Istanbul works on the issues of spatial justice, aiming to bring together transnational knowledge and cross-disciplinary expertise with local communities, to help to (re-)produce spaces and practices of hope. Many urban communities (evicted/dispossessed/impoverished) are either excluded from / badly affected by the decisions on their city, or lack access to resources, including expertise, to overcome injustices.
Beyond Istanbul is rooted in our deep local knowledge of and passion to make positive change in Istanbul and beyond. We believe our professions (architecture, planning, designing, social sciences, etc.) need to be democratised and be socially engaged, as much as our cities need to be democratic and socially just. We believe that another professionalism as well as another city are possible.
Beyond Istanbul offers new means of engaging with the city. We build up on cross-disciplinary work and practice unconventional methodologies to understand and change the city. We try to create unusual partnerships among urban practitioners, coming from different cities and disciplines, as well as between experts and local communities.
Beyond Istanbul engages in Hands-On workshops, curates Walks, organises Talks, runs a Help Desk, carries out Research and offers Space to visiting researchers, designers, artists, journalists and city lovers.
We speak Turkish, English, French, German and Greek.
Yaşar Adnan Adanalı
Yaşar Adnan Adanalı is Istanbul based urbanist, researcher and lecturer. He has a BA on social and political sciences from Sabanci University 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 (TU Berlin) is on relations of spatial production and democratisation processes in Istanbul. Until June 2012, for two years Yasar had worked as a development specialist for Stuttgart University on refugee camp improvement projects of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for the Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). At the moment he teaches participatory planning courses at TU Darmstadt as guest professor. He is a voluntary member of One Hope Association (Istanbul). Yasar has initiated and coordinates several urban blogs and websites, including his personal blogs Reclaim Istanbul (reclaimistanbul.com) and Happy City (mutlukent.wordpress.com).
In 1998, after his Architecture Studies at Institut Superieur d’Architecture Victor Horta in Brussels, Sinan started his collaboration with one of Belgium’s most progressive architecture office: L’Escaut. Since 2005, Sinan has developed his personal architectural and artistic work through various projects in Belgium and Turkey. His work has been exhibited and published in Europe, USA and Turkey. He is currently leading his researches and teaching architectural design studiocourses at Istanbul Bilgi University. Sinan is the co-author, with Yoann Morvan of the recently published book ‘’Istanbul 2023’’ analyzing the urban spread of Istanbul.
Sinan Erensu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota and a graduate student fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. He holds an M.Phil degree in Sociology from Cambridge University and a BA degree in Social and Political Sciences program from Sabanci University, Turkey. His interests lie in the areas of critical development studies, nature-society relations, urban and rural theory, and political ecology with a particular focus on emerging landscapes of renewable energy and water/energy nexus. His regional focus is the Turkish Black Sea coast and Istanbul. Most recently he has published on changing nature of water-energy nexus in an edited volume titled as Contemporary Water Governance in the Global South: Scarcity, Marketization and Participation. Other publications could be viewed at http://umn.academia.edu/SinanErensü. Sinan previously taught at University of Minnesota and Koc University on social theory, environment and international development. He irregulalrly writes op-eds for Turkish magazines and dailies on political ecology as well as blogs at millicografya.org
Yoann Morvan is a social anthropologist, working on urban and economic issues. He is junior researcher at CNRS (National Center for scientific Research), based at IDEMEC (Institute of Mediterranean, European and comparative ethnology, Aix-en-Provence). He is also associated at the French research center for Anatolian studies (IFEA / Istanbul) and at the French Research Center in Jerusalem (CRFJ). Yoann is the co-author, with Sinan Logie of the recently published book ‘’Istanbul 2023’’ analyzing the urban spread of Istanbul.
Merve Bedir is an architect and researcher. She is the partner of Rotterdam I Istanbul based office (L+CC) and a PhD candidate in Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture. In 2012, she worked on urban transformation in Turkey, as a curator for the Netherlands Architecture Institute. Since 2013, she has been working on migration, refugees and cities. Merve is the curator of ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK-2015 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She produced Agoraphobia; her work was exhibited in Berlin Architecture Center (DAZ), African Center for Cities (Cape Town), UABB (Shenzhen), ZigZagCity (Rotterdam), EPFL, Macau, Cairo, Lusofna and Cottbus Universities, Budapest, Lisbon and Istanbul urban film festivals; and was published in One World (Dutch), Interartive, Volume, MONU, SRO (Dutch), Docomomo, Zivot (Croatian) and Quaderns. Merve often blogs for uncube, Cairobserver and Failed Architecture. L+CC won the first prize in Europan 2012 – Vienna and the third prize with Turenscape in Moscow Sokolniki Park urban and landscape design competition.
Deniz is an urban and regional planner and freelance researcher. During the early years of her studies, she became a volunteer member of One Hope Association (Istanbul). Since then, she is seeking ways to practice bottom-up urbanism. In 2014 she joined to the homeless and earthquake victims’ affordable, safe and ecological housing struggle in Düzce, Turkey as a voluntary member of Düzce Hope Studio. She is currently studying Master Degree for urban planning at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.
Christos (cargocollective.com/christospolymeris) studied architecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) and at Istanbul Technical University (ITU) in 2013. He graduated with Diploma in Architecture (DipArch) with the project titled Acting in Everyday Life. Granted a scholarship from Erasmus program, he has joined One Hope Association since October 2015. As intern architect he contributed to Duzce Hope Homes studio by working with Plankton Project over the project Open Construction Site. He regularly visualises his thoughts at re-router.tumblr.com.
Didem Pekün’s (1978, Istanbul-London) work explores both artistic research and practice; conceptually it deals with the production of subjectivities within violent geographies, displacement, and the different forms they take on-screen. Her studio practice includes documentaries and video installations, and her work have screened internationally at festivals and galleries, (including Berlinale, Arnolfini, Oberhausen, Punto de Vista, Museum für Neue Kunst, MAXXI,MUSAC, SALT) have received and been nominated to awards, (British Council), and attended residencies (Delfina and Greenhouse). Following a BA in Music at SOAS, and an MA on Documentary at Goldsmiths, she holds a practice-based PhD from Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths and is a faculty member at Media and Visual Arts Department at Koç University.
Zeynep Gülru Göker
Zeynep Gülru Göker is a research associate at the Koc University Gender Studies Center (KOC-KAM) and an instructor in the same university. She completed her PhD in political science at the City University of New York Graduate Center (2011) and her undergraduate degree in social and political sciences at the Sabanci University (2003). Her research focuses on extra-parliamentary political participation, gender and political action, deliberative democracy, the politics of motherhood and the politics of silence.
Kerem Çiftçioğlu works as a project coordinator at the Center for Truth Justice Memory (Memory Center). He received his B.A. in Social and Political Sciences from Sabancı University (2004), and his M.A. on Theory and Practice of Human Rights from Essex University (2006). His master thesis focused on ‘user fees’ as health-care policy instrument Vis-à-vis the right to health. Prior to his work in Memory Center, Ciftcioglu has worked for 4 years in Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (hCa) in capacities of fund raising, project development and coordination. He has been actively involved in non-profit work both professionally and voluntarily. He is also a member of hCa, and an active voluntary member of the Conscripts Rights Initiative.
Sinem is an architect, urban sociology student, and expropriation expert. Studied Architecture at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (2008) and at École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble (2014), wrote her thesis with the title of ¨Spatial Organisation of Ideology: İstanbul, Cairo, Paris¨ within her studies in Grenoble. Currently continues her Master of Urban Design at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, writes her thesis about projection of judicialization and legitimation to urban space which focuses on forensic architecture and palaces of justice, co-works at One Hope Association (İstanbul) as a voluntary member, works as an architect and drives her own company, peers-review at (urgent) expropriation cases.