Abstract Since the 1980s, the urban restructuration process has had important effects on cities. One of these is the transformation of urban residential space, which includes processes such as urban renewal and gentrification. The aim of this paper is to briefly examine three urban residential transformation processes in Turkey. Two of these are examples of gentrification of two different neighbourhoods in Istanbul, and the third is an example of urban renewal in a neighbourhood in Ankara. The transformation processes in each of these examples have different structures. Related to the characteristics of the processes, their impacts on the cities are different. These differences are evaluated with respect to their impact on the social and spatial structure in these neighbourhoods.