Reading the transformations of Konya Culture Park as an urban space
Gürel, Meltem Ö.
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Culture parks, built as recreational green urban spaces with entertainment facilities, were one of the most important modernization projects of the early Republican era. Capturing national ideals and the Republican worldview, culture parks introduced new forms of leisure practices while serving as a medium to educate and enlighten the public in contemporary ways of living. As such they symbolized the notion of modernity in Turkey. The idea of culture parks as a re ection of modernity maintained its validity long after its rst initiation in the 1930s. This study examines Konya Culture Park, as a later example of culture parks, to trace its conception and association with politics in the Turkish context. The study rst examines the historical and spatial development of the grounds Konya Culture Park sits on, from a religious garden belonging to the Mevlevi sect to a civic park in the early Republican era. Next, the study analyzes the social, mental and physical properties of the culture park in the 1970s through Lefebvrian spatial theories and their correlations compared against earlier examples. The main contribution of this research is to read the transformation of Konya Culture Park within its socio-cultural context, examined through the lenses of politically directed representations of space, representational space and the practices of users e ective in its transformation. This study contributes to history of architecture and urban studies by focusing on the spatial production of Konya Culture Park, as associated with the development of culture parks in Turkey.