By Çiçek İlengiz. In recent years, restitution demands for several artifacts raised by the Turkish government have fueled heated debates on “what belongs to whom and under which conditions,” and have simultaneously opened a new ground to reinscribe civilizational narratives onto the politics of heritage. Centered on questions around the construction of legal ownership, as well as “imaginations of inheriteance”, the author’s project aspires to connect the notions of heritage and inheritance by illustrating the links between what is considered public and private. In other words, it is an attempt to understand how what is supposedly belonging to everyone (world heritage) is legally, discursively and materially treated as inheritance.
By Elife Biçer-Deveci. Historical analysis of scientific debates on alcohol provides insights into power relations, political tensions, and hidden aspects of the nation-building process. In the case of early twentieth-century Turkey, scientists shaped the narrative of drinking as an alien element of the Turkish nation.
The Self-in-Crisis in the Contemporary Turkish Novel: A Case for the Relevance of Medical Humanities
By Burcu Alkan. This article examines the self-in-crisis in the Turkish novel, more specifically the origins and functions of “the psychiatric turn” in representations of madness in contemporary Turkish novels. It examines how the novelists engage with psychiatric medicine and discusses why such an engagement has become prominent in exploring existential crises in the novelistic imagination in recent years.
The band Muhtelif shared their second single called “Zümrüdüanka” with a video clip compiled from news footage documenting social movements and democratic struggles in Turkey over the past decade.
By Ezgi Sarıtaş. In this essay, the author explores how the illustrations in the Istanbul Ansiklopedisi (encyclopedia) bring together scattered pieces of a visual archive of the urban poor and their marginal labour, while concurrently adopting a voyeuristic interpretation of physical labour and young male bodies as objects of homoerotic desire.
“The question is rather if it is possible for disciplines as institutions to carve out a place that is truly anti-authoritarian” – 5in10 with Önder Çelik
Önder Çelik is a EUME Fellow, whose research explores the material and temporal dimensions constituted by the practices of dispossessed young Kurdish men searching for valuable objects believed to be buried by the victims of the Armenian genocide.
By Nurçin İleri. This essay centres on a series of photographs, which I first came across at an auction in November 2020. These black and white images depict Istanbul’s first urban scale power plant, the Silahtarağa campus and extension of the grid to the city in the early 1910s.
By Alihan Mestci. Culture is a battle that “has not yet been won” – this has been iterated on numerous occasions by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ever since late 2016, the year of the July 15th coup attempt. The state of emergency has given a legal blank check for thousands of dismissals in the civil service as well as for the criminalization and marginalization of dissenting voices from the media and civil society.
By Ayşe Dayı and Hilal Alkan. The edited volume The Politics of the Female Body in Contemporary Turkey: Reproduction, Maternity and Sexuality illustrates and examines the various ways in which neoliberal modes of governing women’s bodies come together with religious, conservative, and authoritarian measures in contemporary Turkey.
Recently, business have been trying hard to refute the role of the manufacturing sector as a main contributor of COVID-19 cases. In this conversation, Aslı Odman, an instructor at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, and a founding member and volunteer at Istanbul Health and Safety Labor Watch, discusses the socio-spatial inequalities triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in industrial workspaces on both local and global scales.