Urban problematic of cultural management in historical fragments in Istanbul: a case study in Fener-Balat and Suleymaniye
Authorİnan, Canan Gülseren
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The aim of this study is to scrutinize cultural management in terms of control, regulations and sociocultural dynamics in the projects of urban transformation/gentrification including the historical and cultural areas in Istanbul. To analyze the cultural politics of urban transformation, along with the socio-spatial impacts of the process of gentrification, Suleymaniye and Fener-Balat have been chosen as two districts that were included in the World Heritage List due to the historical-cultural patterns they display. Evidently, the social ethos, created through Neo-Ottomanist approaches in urban renewal processes, is unregulated. Thus, it is necessary to examine the apparatuses of power in the matter of sustaining the representations of historical and cultural identity, which make up collective memory in terms of identity and space construction. It is assumed that the dynamics of urban transformation have also been transforming collective consciousness based on historicity. In this context, concepts such as urban alienation, mental unmappability, the emptying of minds and cultural uprooting, have enriched the theoretical construction of the study in analyzing the management of collective memory that is intricately tied to the process of global urbanization. With the institutionalization of centralized politics, we are witnessing the instrumentalization of urban space and the placement of urban transformation on a strictly market-based trajectory with no room for an alternative path. Moreover, the relationship between symbolic capital and collective memory as the basis of cultural heritage seems to have been ruptured. Ultimately, what is at risk is the ideal of a human-centered, democratic community, encompassing contrapuntal ensembles (different narratives based on historicity that could only be interpreted via each other and make sense related with each other in their own cultural representations/specifications) and polyphonic cultural constituents. Along with the paradigm of neoliberal urbanization came the new phenomenon of urban space design, mediatization of culture and collective memory. Expressed in the language of consumption, designed to fit packaged socio-spatial practices and emotions, it is argued that we now entered a post-emotional socialization stage.