Osmanlı’dan Ulus-Devlete Doğu Akdeniz Liman Kentlerinde Mekâna Müdahale Ve Kent Kimliğindeki Değişim-Mersin Ve Volos Örneği



Changing Urban Identity in The Eastern Mediterranean Port Cities from the Ottoman Period to the Nation-State: Case of Mersin and Volos



Eastern Mediterranean port cities had been the spaces of exchange during the nineteenth century, when Ottoman Empire ran into a modernization process due to the changing commercial relations to the industrialized core. As a result, new land use units began to occur within urban form and urban space was shaped in a relational way, depending on the needs and expectations of local actors.


Despite many differences between each of them, modernity projects of the nation states was aiming to produce its own urban space, from the beginning of twentieth century. This process revealed itself through interventions on urban space, which became a medium for nation states to reproduce their new identities.


The ideals of nation states to create a new identity brought about significant transformations in urban identity of port cities, owing its existence to social diversity and its urban space. In this period, the reciprocal relation of the city to the sea was broken, due to implementation of new large-scale infrastructure projects, like port areas. Consequently, the relational positioning of different land uses in urban form and the coherent urban structure they produced were disappeared. Furthermore, these investments dismantled the relational space, produced through the components of identity and character of port cities.


In this study, changing identity of Eastern Mediterranean port cities is investigated through a comparison between Mersin and Volos, two cities of a similar scale. Being a part of two different nation states -Turkey and Greece- the changing identity and urban space characteristics in these port cities are scrutinized through an exploration into the spatial politics of nation states, whether they took into consideration the local distinctiveness of port cities, needs and expectations of local actors, and the components of their identity and character. The effect of these interventions on public space is on the forefront of the discussion.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4305/metu.jfa.2018.1.3


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