Ankara, Tehran, Baghdad: Three varieties of Kemalist urbanism

Christopher Houston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Kemalism has been the guiding and justifying ideology of the Turkish Republic since its institution in 1923. That Kemalism is exclusive to Turkey is a mainstay of Kemalist self-perception. But was (or is) Kemalism as political practice pursued by other regimes in the region? This paper argues that Kemalism should also be understood as a project of urbanism, and that urban interventions into Ankara, Tehran and Baghdad in the 20th century transformed all three into Kemalist cities. To illustrate, I describe certain features of their spatial, symbolic and sensory re-organization. My concluding remarks address the radically divergent fate of Kemalist urbanism in the contemporary cities of Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-75
Number of pages19
JournalThesis Eleven
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


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