A Fragmented Memory Project: Archaeological and Ethnographic Museums in Turkey, 1960-1980
Sade Mete, Fatma Ozge
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This dissertation examines the long neglected archaeological and ethnographic museums in the provinces of Turkey that were built between early 1960s and early 1980s, with respect to the troublesome relationship of the Turkish state with its past. Challenging the common conception that views these museums simply as a sign of Turkey's failure to preserve its cultural heritage, this study suggests that these provincial museums reveal a conscious project of forgetting - a negligence of the diversity of memories in the creation of official histories. Different from the existing scholarship that primarily focuses on the central museums and views them as direct representations of dominant historical narratives, this study draws attention to these peripheral structures as conveyers of the memories that were left out of the prevailing accounts. The broader perspective of this dissertation is characterized by a critical view of disciplinary boundaries within the field of architecture and museum studies, which it views as modernist constructs. Challenging the borderlines created between architecture and non-architecture, and museum and non-museum, this study conceives the provincial museums in Turkey as significant spaces that convey local memories. In order to present the complexity of memories, the analysis undertaken is based on the idea that the politics of remembrance in Turkey was ambiguously shaped by the cooperation of contested notions such as Islam vs. secularism, modern vs. traditional and East vs. West. Through the analysis of oppositional discourses, this dissertation shows that the abandoned spaces of the archaeological and ethnographic museums in Turkey represent a fragmented memory project and provide spaces for the reconstruction of complex memories.
- Built environment