The lived spatiality of Ankara (1935-1950) through the memories of its citizens
Edizioni Plus-Pisa University Press
19 - 43
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Power and culture: new perspectives on spatiality in European history
As the capital of the young Turkish Republic, founded in 1923, Ankara was one of the few cities among its contemporaries that was constructed with a great deal of planning. It was the symbol of the nation-state and the modernisation of the city’s culture and environment was one of the principal objectives in the Early Republican period. In this chapter, the transformation of urban culture is traced through the everyday life of the inhabitants and the lived spatiality through both the new and the old districts of the city. While discussing lived spatiality in order to analyse the transformation of urban culture, I refer to three aspects: everyday life, the history-memory relationship and bodily practices. The larger part of the research project is based on memory. Written documents, newspapers, literary constructions, memoirs and interviews with the elderly inhabitants of the city are the main sources. This chapter is based on the information obtained from interviews. It can be deduced from this study that Ankara was a fruitful medium for the creation of a modern urban culture between 1935 and 1950 and that the middle social groups were the main actors in this transformation process.