Standing under metaphors of power: Ankara city gates
Emiroğlu, Kadir Yavuz
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This thesis examines Ankara City Gates in terms of how they metaphorically reproduce a mode of subjecthood, a cultural citizenship corresponding to the understanding of citizenship of the AKP and the state, of which Melih Gökçek, former metropolitan mayor of Ankara is a representative. Doing so, it observes and analyzes these city gates as they function to reproduce the above-mentioned mode of subjecthood, a cultural citizenship whose substance represents an Ottomanist, nationalist, Islamist, neoliberal ideological mélange. The case of Ankara City Gates is analyzed by taking the city gates as textual material, looking at Gökçek’s statements on these structures, considering various instances of public response and comparing this original gate-building practice to various experiences of gate-building in other Anatolian municipalities. Location of the city gates, and how they are placed in relation to the city (e.g. presence of a police control point near the gates) are interpreted to see if they constitute a newer sense of dominion in Ankara. This observation leads this study to observe that Ankara City Gates function to draw new boundaries to Ankara. Religious, national, historical references (e.g. Seljuk Stars, Turkish flags, Mevlana statutes), material qualities (e.g. building materials of these gates) are interpreted with regards to another metaphorical function of these structures: Ideological spolia. It is a practice of selectively attaching elements to represent how the ideology of the AKP imagines, envisions, marks their dominion, the area where the subjectified citizens enter to. These two functions constitute a final one, which enabling the city gates to subjectify citizens of Ankara, rendering them under-standers, citizen subjects who stand under the city gates.