"Early Republican Ankara" : struggle over historical representation and the politics of urban historiography
Journal of Urban History
661 - 679
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Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/21801
This article discusses the emergence of a particular historical representation: that of "early republican Ankara." Becoming the capital of the newly born Turkish nation-state in 1923, Ankara was conceived as the symbolic locus of Turkish modernization. The old Ottoman town was rapidly transformed into a modern capital. However, "early republican Ankara" as a historiographic category is a product of the 1990s. In this period, two distinct representations of the city surfaced. One was the outcome of the incorporation of the postmodern critique of modernization into Turkish political history and was supported by the growing interest in urban studies. The other was a direct product of the nationalist call of the Turkish political establishment in the face of pressure from Kurdish nationalism and political Islam. Within this context, the notion of "early republican Ankara" emerged as a nostalgic image to promote national unity.