Production of Urban Spaces for the Creation of a ‘Modern Society’ In Turkey


The creation of a new culture, following the proclamation of the Republic and Turkish Revolution is the embodiment of an excessive passion. In Turkey's experience, modernization (and westernization) was achieved by a plan introduced from the top. This plan was achieved by several reforms on political, legal, cultural, social, and economic policy debates for the creation of modern nation-state. This paper aims to analyze the affects of the social reforms of Turkish revolution in urban daily life by researching the transformation of public spaces. The change of the social life necessitate huge urban transformations which symbolize and represent Turkey's modernization in urban space - provided through figural representations by the disciplines of architecture and planning for purging the urban space from its Ottoman/Islamic past. As a part of the modernization project, public space was used to represent the drive to develop a healthy and modern society. Those who held the political power and the modernized, enlightened elite, together, they imposed on the Turkish people the selected culture and etiquette. The forced opening of public spaces actually meant their closure as a result of the state's nationalist propaganda. In the process, public spaces were purged from ethnic, religious and cultural diversities. Those who were impossible to purge were expelled from the Republic's public space. This paper researches the history and transformation of public spaces in Turkey for the creation of the modern, secular society.

Author Information
Birge Yildirim Okta, Istanbul Technical University, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2016
Stream: Humanities - History, Historiography

This paper is part of the ACAH2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon