Transenvironmental protest: the Arnavutkoy anti-bridge campaign in Istanbul


ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS, vol.20, no.6, pp.861-878, 2011 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09644016.2011.617170
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.861-878
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


In Istanbul during the late 1990s a mobilisation opposed the construction of a third bridge over the Bosphorus Strait to connect the Asian with the European shores of the city. The residents of one of two neighbourhoods over which the bridge would be placed, organised an Arnavutkoy District Initiative - ASG (Arnavutkoy Semt Girisimi) - claiming that the construction of the bridge would have destructive effects on the natural and cultural environment of the area. The environment is one of the central arguments around which the anti-bridge campaign revolves but closer ethnographic examination reveals that ASG is much more than an environmental group. Therefore, ASG is analysed as a transenvironmental protest, through the consideration of environmentalism as a cultural characteristic appropriated by the setting of which ASG is part. Furthermore, the transenvironmental character of ASG is discussed in relation to its activities, which render it more than a protest but also a community organisation.