Locating the Museum or Locating the Collective Memory: The Role of the Izmir Museum in Izmir’s Nationalization

    • IMG_1954
    • Presentation speakers
      • Selvihan Kurt, Independent Researcher, Istanbul, Turkey


    The end of 19th century and the first decades of 20th century were very turbulent times for the Ottoman Empire under effect of nationalism. In 1923 with the end of World War I the Ottoman Empire was officially dismissed and Turkish Republic was declared. The Turkish parliament was brought together and declared even before, in 1920. The new republic declared Ankara, which was a small town in that time over imperial capital Istanbul and it was the first sign of state’s urban moves for the demonstration of the transformation of the country on spatial forms. Izmir/Smyrna was the urban and coastal center of the empire on the western Anatolia peninsula and it was also the most cosmopolite city of the empire along with Istanbul in terms of demographic, economic, cultural and urban senses. The Great Fire in Izmir in 1922 was the final destruction of World War I in the city and it was also a terminator for the very cosmopolite urban character of the city which was the last reminiscence of the cosmopolite population of the city that was forced to migrate with the population exchange with Greece or run away from the war. The melted city was reconstructed literally on the ashes of its former urban centers and furnished with the view of a nationalized city through the application of very typical republican project. The museum of the city was very functional in this nationalizing process and the locations chosen for the museum were not arbitrary at all. This paper will try to explore and narrate significance of the locations of Izmir Museum, which served in three different building in the nationalizing of Izmir’s urban topography and the contribution of the museum in the construction of a nationalized collective memory in connation to locations of the museum.