Grasping The Discursivity In Istanbul, Yeldeğirmeni



The aim of this paper is to scrutinize the transformation in Istanbul, Yeldeğirmeni, for understanding and interpreting the notion of culture within the context of globalisation. Yeldeğirmeni is a historic neighbourhood of Istanbul, which is close to both the public transportation routes and the thriving nightlife and entertainment centre of Kadiköy district. In 2010, local-government-initiated urban regeneration project founded on arts and cultural activities, triggered the transformation in Yeldeğirmeni, which attracts local and foreign users, but also tempts the capital and brings about threats of commodification of the urban space. The transformation in Yeldeğirmeni, exhibits an alternative to most transformation projects that lead to commodification of space by reducing culture into a discourse. The theoretical framework of the paper is built upon Foucault’s concept of “transdiscursive author” translated into the scope of urban reading, with a holistic approach to culture and space. As a constituent of the holistic approach, the transdiscursive reading, which is rooted in relational experience of the body-subject within the urban space, incorporates the theoretical framework with methodological tools. Interwoven with the theoretical framework, a transdiscursive reading is carried out in Yeldeğirmeni and it is concluded that although Yeldeğirmeni is not free from the threats of commodification, the existing neighbourhood culture is incorporated with the contemporary necessities of the locals, newcomers and visitors. Thus, the culture in Yeldeğirmeni, which emerges as a narrative, is a constituent of an ongoing process rather than a given or invented product. Understanding and interpreting the culture as a narrative could open up alternative ways for an architectural and urban design, that would resist the commodification of space.

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