Meydan as Sahne Productions of Space and Expressions of Turkish Politics at Taksim Square (1950-1980)
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This thesis analyses the spatial history of Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, focusing primarily on the years 1950 to 1980. As Taksim Square is a politically active urban space, the central argument of the thesis concerns how certain public spaces come to serve as a nation’s performance stage for the expression of state politics and associated societal discourse. In this thesis Taksim’s urban space is investigated as a medium of Turkish politics enforced through spatial practices. First, a sequential analysis of the production of Taksim’s space is presented, from its origins as a graveyard site and garden space in 18th and 19th centuries to its role as an urban public square in mid-20th century. Next, the history of events and protests at Taksim is analyzed through their physical manifestation in Taksim’s spatial form, its built environment, and the social use of its space. Thereafter, through the theoretical lenses of Henri Lefebvre’s Production of Space, (1991) and The Right to the City, (1968), the thesis addresses questions of ‘whose space?’ It does so by examining the various uses and abuses of Taksim Square’s space as various ideologies and social groups competed to find their identity in its spatial form during the period from 1950 to 1980.
- Architecture