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Pre-AKP Urban Rehabilitation Projects for Istanbul’s Eyüp Quarter

Contextualising the Narrative of 1994 as Point of Rupture
  • Annegret RoelckeEmail author
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Zusammenfassung

Die Stadtteilverwaltung des Istanbuler Viertels Eyüp hat seit Mitte der 1990er Jahre verschiedene Projekte initiiert, die eine Identität Eyüps propagieren. Die Projekte deuten Eyüp mit Bezug auf den Schrein des Prophetengefährten Ebu Eyyub als Zentrum osmanischer Kultur und der islamischen Welt. Die AKP-regierte Eyüp Stadtteilverwaltung stellt den Regierungsantritt ihrer Vor gängerpartei 1994 als einen Umbruch dar. Sie behauptet, seitdem Eyüps imaginierte Identität wiederbelebt zu haben, nachdem diese in der säkularen Republik vernachlässigt worden sei. Indem sie sich als „Retterin“ der Identität Eyüps inszeniert, legitimiert die AKP ihre politische Macht. Ausgehend von der Annahme, dass Proklamationen von „Umbrüchen“ ein wichtiges Element selektiv interpretierter Erzählungen über die Vergangenheit im Kontext gegenwärtiger Interessen ausmachen, präsentiert dieser Beitrag Geschichts-narrative von Stadtplanerinnen über Eyüp im 20. Jahrhundert, die die von der Stadtteilverwaltung propagierte Periodisierung und die Deutung des Jahres 1994 als Umbruch in Frage stellen. Indem der Artikel auch die Narrative der Stadtplanerinnen als selektive Interpretationen von spezifischen Akteuren kontextualisiert, verdeutlicht er die Vielfalt an Möglichkeiten, die Geschichte eines Ortes diskursiv zu konstruieren. Er zeigt, dass Eyüp für diverse Akteure in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart mit unterschiedlichen Identitätsnarrativen einen symbolischen Ort darstellt. Viele von ihnen teilen das Ziel, eine imaginierte inhärente Identität Eyüps durch Interventionen in seine physische Struktur wiederzubeleben.

Abstract

Since the mid-1990s, Eyüp’s local municipality has launched various projects to promote an imagined identity for the historical Istanbul quarter. The rehabilitation projects aim to create the narrative of Eyüp’s relation to the shrine of the Prophet’s Companion Ebu Eyyub and frame it as a centre of Ottoman cultural heritage and the Islamic world. The AKP-led Eyüp Municipality portrays its predecessor’s taking office in 1994 as a rupture: since then, it claims to have revived Eyüp’s identity, which it presents to have been neglected in the secular republic. By portraying itself the “saviour” of the quarter’s historical identity, the AKP legitimises its political power. Understanding claims of “ruptures” as a major element of selectively interpreted narratives of the past to support present interests, this article presents narratives of Eyüp’s twentieth-century history by urban planners that challenge the periodisation propagated by the municipality and the notion that 1994 constituted a rupture. By contextualising the urban planners’ accounts as selective interpretations by particular actors, the article points to the multiple possibilities of constructing a place’s history. It illustrates that Eyüp has been of symbolic value for various actors in past and present supporting different narratives of identity. Many share the aim to rehabilitate an imagined identity of Eyüp by intervening in its physical fabric.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für IslamwissenschaftFreie Universität BerlinBerlinDeutschland

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