Article | Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report No. 1 | National Museums in the Republic of Turkey: Palimpsests within a Centralized State

Title:
National Museums in the Republic of Turkey: Palimpsests within a Centralized State
Author:
Wendy K. Shaw:
Download:
Full text (pdf)
Year:
2011
Conference:
Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report No. 1
Issue:
064
Article no.:
038
Pages:
925-951
No. of pages:
27
Publication type:
Abstract and Fulltext
Published:
2011-09-30
Series:
Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):
1650-3686
ISSN (online):
1650-3740
Publisher:
Linköping University Electronic Press; Linköpings universitet


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This study considers how the various forms of the museum within the Turkish context serve in the production of a decentralized national narrative that becomes replicated to reify Turkish identity through multiple; non-hierarchized heritage sources. Through the overlay of institutions established during these periods; contemporary Turkish museums; whether public or private; serve as museums of the nation not because of their conceptual cohesion or administrative centralization; but because through this layering; they express the many competing threads through which national culture and heritage construct a complex; and at times contradictory; national narrative which enables competing segments of the population to coexist. The study provides a chronological survey of the development of museums with a special focus on five key case studies that each reflects changing relationships between the state; the nation; and the concept of the museum in various eras of Turkey’s history.

In the Republic of Turkey; the Ottoman emphasis on museums of archaeology and military spolia became transformed into an emphasis on historic museums as a means of glorifying early imperial history and differentiating the republic from its Ottoman past; ethnographic-archaeological museums as a means of inscribing a unified historical and ethnological map of the country; particularly Anatolia; and; more recently; using art (in lieu of archaeology) as a signal of participation in European cultural practices; particularly among urban elite audiences. As explored in this report; these types can be best understood as a complex palimpsest of the four historical eras of national identity production during which different museum typologies were introduced for different needs: the late Ottoman era (1839-1922); the early Republican era (1922-1960); the era between two eras of military rule (1961-1983) and the current era (1984- 2010). The study will also focus on five key case studies that each reflects changing relationships between the state; the nation; and the concept of the museum in various eras of Turkey’s history: the Ottoman Imperial Museum (1846); the Topkapi Palace Museum (1924); the Ethnographic Museum (1928); the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations (1968) and the Istanbul Modern Museum of Art (2004).

Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report No. 1

Author:
Wendy K. Shaw
Title:
National Museums in the Republic of Turkey: Palimpsests within a Centralized State
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Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference proceedings from EuNaMus; European National Museums: Identity Politics; the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen; Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report No. 1

Author:
Wendy K. Shaw
Title:
National Museums in the Republic of Turkey: Palimpsests within a Centralized State
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