Ilkim Markoc


Women’s poverty has long been a topic discussed in worldwide literature. However, no recent study has been conducted which examines the causes and outcomes of women’s poverty in Turkey. The objective of this study is to reveal the obstacles young women in Istanbul’s Bagcilar District face in seeking to develop urban lives due to poverty. Accordingly, there is a need to contextualize geographically and provide rationale for the case study area: Bagcilar was selected for the field study because it has one of the largest population of immigrants as well as one of the cheapest levels of rent in the city. Methodologically, one-to-one semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 23 young women aged between 18 and 24. All interviewees have attained only low educational levels and all are employed in the textile sector. In-depth interviews were analyzed and interpreted, and themes and codes were generated accordingly. Themes were derived from most common statements and the most common ciphers in the statements created the codes. The paper reveals the 7 themes obtained from the case study: T1- Lack of education due to financial difficulties; T2- Being responsible for domestic chores and earning a living for the family; T3- Women's lack of freedom in spending the money they earn; T4- Patriarchal family structure; T5- Socialisation limited to relatives; T6- Living within the geographical borders of the neighbourhood; and T7- Active social media usage. This study determined that young women in Bagcilar have difficulty in physically participating in social activities. Poverty and patriarchal family structure were determined to be contributing factors. The unique contribution of this study to the literature is that it reveals how young women in a society with a high poverty rate and gender inequality actively participate in civil society through virtual platforms.

Author Biography

Ilkim Markoc received a bachelor's degree (2007), a master's degree in Architecture from Uludag University Faculty of Architecture (2012) and a Ph.D. degree in Architecture from Yildiz Technical University Faculty of Architecture (2017). She has national and international studies about housing, virtual space, urban redevelopment and housing sociology. Ms. Markoc's academic career started in 2013 at Yildiz Technical University, Department of Architecture Building Science Unit. Since 2013 she has been a full-time academician in YTU.