Seen Beyond

Imagining a center for İstanbul – a talk by Orhan Esen


Picture: Taksim Square, 1960s from SALT Research, Söylemezoğlu Archive

Independent urban researcher, writer and guide Orhan Esen took a look at the history of Taksim becoming a space of centrality, within the context of modernization in Ottoman Empire / Turkey since early 19th century. In his talk at SALT Beyoğlu, he looked into the current project’s paradigm, the idea behind the “Barracks-Mall for profit.”

“We spent our last week, last month, last year, last ten years, regularly discussing Taksim in changing contexts; before, it wasn’t different. We just took the discussion to the next level; we changed the means. The question of ‘how to intervene in Taksim’ has long been synonymous with how to make the city, even the country, appear. Now we have begun talking about Turkey through the mediation of Taksim. Spatio-politics have become the medium for writing a subtext for the new constitution.” – Orhan Esen

Last week he held this talk at SALT Beyoglu in Turkish, yesterday he held it in English. For those who missed it, you can watch the full video in Turkish below. The English video will be provided soon by SALT-online.

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