Cultural Policies in Istanbul

Research, Ongoing

Turk Petrol Foundation scholarship funding.

This research project undertakes a comparative analysis of municipal cultural policies in Turkey through the case of Istanbul. Approaching cultural policies from a sociospatial perspective and while acknowledging the ways in which neoliberal globalisation shapes the dynamics of ‘rescaling’, this project attaches particular importance to the secular and islamist divide as the construction, representation and reproduction of this divide exposes particular spatial patterns of cultural practices within Istanbul.

The hegemonic culture of the Republic, which was strongly influenced by cultural institutions and practices from the West, has started to be challenged in this era of AKP rule by the increasing visibility of Islamic symbols in the urban cultural sphere. Taking this hegemonic shift as the point of departure, this research undertakes a comparative analysis of the dynamics of cultural policymaking and implementation in selected district municipalities of Istanbul that are governed by the AKP or by the main opposition party CHP.