From Imperial Capital to global City: Transformations of Istanbul 1914-2014

28 10 2014

AS: Recently I’ve been blogging quite frequently about events related to the First World War. This post continues the theme.

04 December 2014 18:30 to 21:00

Professor Erik-Jan Zürcher (Leiden University), one of the world’s leading experts on Turkey, will chart the development of the architecture, economy and population of Istanbul in the 20th and 21st centuries.  In 1920 it was occupied by Britain and its allies after the Ottoman defeat in World War I. Then, in 1923 it lost the position as imperial capital it had held for 1600 years. In 1924 it also ceased to be the seat of the caliphate, an honour it had held for some 350 years. During the early republic, plans were developed to remodel the city according to the modernist ideals of the Kemalists, but the construction of Ankara as the iconic city of modern Turkey had priority. Big changes came with the fifties, not only in terms of architecture and city planning but also in the composition of Istanbul’s population. From a cosmopolitan city of Turks and Greeks it turned into a destination of Turkish and Kurdish migrants from inner Turkey. The city of one million grew into a city of fourteen million in little over half a century.  From the nineteen eighties onwards integration  into the capitalist world economy combined with the end of the cold war to return to Istanbul its position as economic and cultural hub. Finally, in recent years, the city has aspired to rival emerging world cities like Dubai and Singapore. As this lecture will show, all of these developments are clearly reflected in Istanbul’s changing cityscape.

Professor Zürcher has published many articles and books including The Young Turk Legacy and Nation Building: From the Ottoman Empire to Atatürk’s Turkey (IB Tauris, 2010).

This event will also mark the launch of the first book of the new BIAA-IB Tauris series on contemporary and Ottoman Turkey.  Turkey and the Politics of National Identity: Social, Economic and Cultural Transformation by Shane Brennan and Marc Herzog.

More details here!

Thursday, 4 December
6.30 pm

The British Academy
10 Carlton House Terrace
London SW1Y 5AH



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