The Second Annual Conference of Turkish Studies, May 23rd, 2016 at Ipek University, Ankara, Turkey

Yeliz Baloglu Cengay's picture
May 23, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Geography, Middle East History / Studies, Political Science, Social Sciences, Urban History / Studies

ACTS 2016: (Re)production of self and space in Turkey, May 23rd, 2016

The Second Annual Conference of Turkish Studies at Ipek University, Ankara, Turkey (Open to everyone).

“All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful, but the beauty is grim.”
Christopher Morley

“To think about the city is to hold and maintain its conflictual aspects: constraints and possibilities, peacefulness and violence, meetings and solitude, gatherings and separation, the trivial and poetic, brutal functionalism and surprising improvisation.”

Henri Lefebvre

Cities are fundamentally about people. They are places where people define spaces with architecture, ideologies, social encounters, knowledge, struggles, joy and sometimes with destruction and hatred. Cities are places where self and space are both reproduced in a twisted and tangled urban madness.  Being the pre-eminent site of social interaction and exchange and site of social centrality and segregation, in cities narratives about community, history, and identity are mostly turned into powerful forces which are then used to create the preconditions for the reproduction of urban spaces and identities. Turkey is not an exception for such creative activities.

At the second meeting of the Annual Conference of Turkish Studies at Ipek University, we gather scholars from different academic disciplines to discuss production and use of urban space in Turkey in relation to neoliberalism, identity politics, and social and economic issues. Our distinguished speakers will address topics such as gentrification, restoration projects, construction economy, urban workers, ethnic minorities and urban culture in relation to the rising neoliberalism in Turkey and the city space as its nourishing ground with an interdisciplinary approach. Taking spaciality for granted is not a common conduct in social sciences and humanities anymore. In its second year, with a serious take on spacial politics, the ACTS intends to continue providing a lively and engaging stage to discuss major issues in Turkish Studies.

Conference Schedule

(Re)production of Self and Space in Turkey

May 23, 2016 Monday
09.00 – 09.30: Registration & Coffee (No fee; open to everyone)
09.30 – 09.35: Welcome Speech / Yeliz Baloğlu Cengay (Ipek University)
09.35 – 10.20: Keynote Speech

Brian Silverstein (The University of Arizona)
“Political Technologies and the Reconfiguration of the Urban-Rural Distinction in Turkey”

10.20 – 10.30: Coffee Break
10.30 – 13.00: Panel I: City and Citizen: Social (re)production of urban space in Turkey
Nil Mutluer (Nisantasi University)
Moderator, Discussant

Neslihan Demirtaş-Milz (Izmir Economy University)
Neoliberal Urban Space: Privatization and Transforming Conditions of Work for Roman Garbage Collectors in İzmir

Courtney Dorroll (Wofford College)
A Case Study of the Hamamonu Neighborhood and the Ulucanlar Arts District

Deniz Yonucu (EUME)
Spatial Segregation and Sectarian Marking of Istanbul’s leftist-identified Alevi populated working class neighborhoods: Divide and Rule, Culture Talk and Reduction of the Political to Cultural

13.00 – 14.30: Lunch Break
14.30 – 16.30: Panel II: City and Politics: Spaces of Neoliberalism in Turkey
Bridget Welsh (Ipek University)
Moderator, Discussant

Sarah El-Kazaz (Oberlin College)
Building Politics: Urban Authenticity and Personhood in Neo-liberalizing Istanbul and Cairo

Mehmet Barış Kuymulu (METU)
Politics of Value: On route to a post-capitalist urban society

Mehmet Penpecioğlu (Izmir Institute of Technology)
Authoritarian Politics of Neoliberal Urbanism in Turkey: Reflections from Large Scale Urban Projects

16:30 – 16.45: Coffee Break
16:45 – 17:15: Concluding Remarks/ Senem Yıldırım (İpek University)

Contact Info: 
Yeliz Baloğlu Cengay
Chair, ACTS Orginizing Comittee
Ipek University
Department of Political Science
Turan Güneş Bulvarı 648. Cadde
06550 Çankaya, Ankara • Turkey
Contact Email: