Place Branding and Public Diplomacy

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 133–146 | Cite as

The politics of meaning and the city brand: The controversy over the branding of Ankara

  • Craig Hayden
  • Efe Sevin
Original Article


This article presents analysis of a period of public argumentation over the city logo of Ankara, the capital of Turkey. These arguments comprise a 17-year episode of controversy that reveals insights into the politics of meaning behind city's brand. Ankara's logo functions as a contested ‘collective representation’ of the city's brand identity, and paved the way to further discussions on its history, cultural identity and politics by various internal stakeholders. The significance of this research is two-fold. First, the Ankara case contributes to existing studies of place branding and semiotics, by examining the contending positions that complicate Ankara's historical identity and the range of stakeholders that make up the ‘managerial apparatus’ of brand meaning. Drawing on communication studies, ‘controversy’ provides an analytical vehicle to consider claims to brand ownership, legitimacy and authority by various stakeholders, as well as to demonstrate the potential of public argumentation to transform and shape the practice of place branding.


Ankara logo controversy argumentation semiotics critical studies 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of International Service, American UniversityWashingtonUSA

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