Two participatory experience in a Roman Neighborhood (Çanakkale, Turkey)

Başaran Uysal A.

Atlas International Congress on Social Science 6, Batumi, Georgia, 15 - 17 May 2020, pp.98-99

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Batumi
  • Country: Georgia
  • Page Numbers: pp.98-99
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes



Participation of citizens in decisions related to their cities and neighborhoods has been discussed within

the framework of participatory democracy since the 1960’s. On the other hand, the ability of

participation to combat poverty has been highlighted recently as well. Policies of combating poverty

suggest the creation of opportunities which will activate marginalized populations, increasing their selforganization

and self-development capacities and reinforcing their social capital. It is argued that direct

participation of local populations, particularly the disadvantaged, in decisions has an important role in

the creation of this capacity and the transformation of those populations into a “capable” status.

Undoubtedly, combating poverty has close relation with social policies of state. Turkey has been

developing policies about poverty and social inclusion. On the other hand, the poverty is perceived as a

problem of income. It is clear that poverty is not perceived only as economic problem, it also indicates

social and cultural deprivation. Despite of the extremely insufficient life conditions, social policies have

not been developed for only Roma neighbourhoods in Turkey, yet.

In this paper, two different experiences are analyzed about local participation in Fevzipaşa

Neighbourhood (Çanakkale, Turkey) where was densely populated Roma community. Çanakkale is the

one of the first cities which began performance of Local Agenda 21 in Turkey. NGOs and municipality

played significant role in this process. The first experience is implementation of the “Participatory

Budget” –or other known name is Porte Alegre Model. The Participatory Budget has firstly implemented

in Brasil, Porte Alegre in 1989, and then it spreads in many cities of the world. Çanakkale Municipality

had put into practice the Participatory Budget in Fevzipaşa as a pilot project, in 2000s. One of the outputs

of the Participatory Budget process is that the City Council (Local Agenda 21) should play more active

role in this process, and “neighbourhood councils” may establish in every neighbourhood. The second

experience is the establishment of a Fevzipaşa Neighbourhood Council under the Çanakkale City

Council in 2011.

These two successive processes have enabled how to contribute to life condition of residents? The

research is based on individual interviews, investigate official document, and analyze local planning

decisions. Although both experiences have problems and weaknesses, they have extremely important

according to empowerment of Roma people and effectiveness on decision making process. Moreover,

these experience cause to decrease polarization in the city.

Keywords: Resident’s Participation, Participatory Budget, Neighbourhood Council, Roma People,