Shaping the city: three urban events in Istanbul

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What of contingent or unexpected urban events that are not the inevitable or determined outcome of other happenings or incidents, and yet transform the present city and exert their force and influence into the future? How might we identify and explicate crucial acts and developments that rupture and reconfigure the morphology and built environment of the city, as well as of its inhabitants’ perceptions of space? This paper describes and analyses three urban events in Istanbul that have become significant determining acts in the city’s modern period, co-constituting both the morphology of the city, the experiences of its inhabitants, and its ethnic/religious composition. The paper argues that urban events coalesce or entangle to part-assemble the contemporary city, even as their creative dynamics do not necessarily function to produce a coherent urban system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-363
Number of pages22
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Istanbul
  • Turkification
  • migration
  • shantytowns
  • urban activism
  • urban events
  • modernist architecture
  • nationalism


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