12-13 OTHER STORIES, Over Histories of the Sultanahmet Archaeological Park: An Alternative Perception of a UNESCO WHS

Monday, DEC 13, 2021
8:00 UTC


SPEAKER: Dr. Nurcan Yalman 

Nurcan Yalman: Archaeologist,  Istanbul-Nişantaşı University, Dept of History; research fellow in the “Centre for International Heritage Activities (CIE)”; member of the board of trustees in the NGO The Cultural Awareness Foundation in Istanbul; Executive board member of European Association of Archaeology and Vice President (2013-2016). 

Sultanahmet Archaeological Park Area, located in the Historic Peninsula, is the most visited central location in Istanbul. This is the center of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. This place has preserved its characteristic as a center where people from different cultures come for different reasons in all historical periods. When this place was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1985, it already had significant cultural stratification. 

Over the last 35 years, it has increasingly become a tourist destination. Thus, the region has changed its shape in accordance with the tourism economy and is filled with accommodation facilities such as hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops. 

In this presentation the project called “the Local Perception of Sultanahmet Archeology Park” that we have just started, based on the communities living today in relation to Sultanahmet Square, will be introduced, and besides the iconic and ostentatious historical buildings of the region such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapı Palace, what other histories exist in the memory of the society living today. The diversity of individual and communal stories that have been overshadowed by those cultural assets will be presented.