Every classification of Turkish cities singles out three major urban centres while relegating the rest to the status of secondary cities. Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir have been the major poles of growth and development in Turkey since the Republic was formed. To be sure, these three cities have followed very different paths. Over the past 20 years, significant changes have occurred within Turkey and around it that have started to reshape the roles if not the primacy of these three urban poles. The weakening of the centralised planning system in Turkey in favour of strengthening local and regional powers, the disintegration of the Soviet bloc and the rise of Turkic states as zones of extended Turkish influence outside Asia Minis, the new dynamics in the Middle East, and the European hopes and challenges promise to transform the Turkish urban polarity in significant ways.
Through a series of three case studies prepared by pre-eminent academics involved in their respective city's planning efforts, and an introduction by Turkey's most renowned urban historian and theorist, Ilhan Tekeli, the book studies the rise of these three main urban centres in Turkey and their roles in organizing the territory and its future reorganisation.