Mobile Food Vendors in Urban Culture: The Case of Turkey

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Küçükersen F.

KAPU Trakya Journal of Architecture and Design, vol.1, no.1, pp.1-17, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


This study undertakes to evaluate the impact of street food peddlers, as illegally established food vendors, on daily life and urban culture. The use of negative spaces of the city by peddlers, how they create a working system in unexpected ways, and how the established order affects city life and culture was analysed in the study. Peddlers who trade foods, such as meat products, rice, and mussels in Turkey during the night, have been discussed in the scope of this study. The research has been based on literature reviews about the urban, urban culture, and peddlers, the observations of the researcher, and the data obtained from 78 participants through the development of a questionnaire. In this way, it was possible to analyse how peddlers are perceived by people living in the city. It can be argued that this system, which has been in existence for years despite having fundamental shortcomings compared to other commercial entities, has a functioning based on experience and turning urban elements in their favour. In this context, it is seen that peddling, which has essentially similar characteristics to theatre plays and scene logic, does not only meet the physical needs of customers but also creates environments that allow socialisation and interaction by transforming customers into participants. In other words, it can be argued that the commercial order established by peddlers is closely related to concepts such as performance, communication, trust, and experiential marketing. Therefore, how this commercial activity, which affects people cognitively, creates an experience and performance environment in urban space despite all prohibitions, has been analysed in the context of urban culture with its positive and negative aspects.