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Uniformification of Urban Spaces: The Midyat Case

Author(s): Berna DİKÇINAR SEL | Ayfer YAZGAN GÜL

Journal: Megaron
ISSN 1309-6915

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 79;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Assimilation-uniformification | migration | urbanization | culture-identity | planning.

Urban spaces today have become commodities in production,circulation and consumption. While globalization accentuatesthe commodification of urban spaces on an international scale,cities, on the other hand, have become areas where investmentsof both local and global capital concentrate. In this process,cities in countries located in different geographies competewith one another, and urban spaces are becoming muchmore alike. Even cities that have fallen outside global competitionare influenced by this transformation, as they go throughthe processes of assimilation and uniformification in their wishto resemble cities in a geography and with a culture other thantheir own. Midyat is a city with a multi-cultural structure containingreligious and ethnic diversities, and thus it is referred toas the “city of faiths and tongues”. Since the 1980s, the terroracts in the region and the migration that followed have greatlyaffected the social structure of the settlement. As Assyrians andYazidis, important cultural and social contributors in Midyat,left the region, Kurds fleeing from settlements disturbed by theacts of terrorism or who were part of the mandatory migrationsettled in the vacated areas. The changing population structureof Midyat has also altered the spatial characteristics ofthe city. Urban spaces containing the traces of the cultural diversityof the city are being replaced by structures resemblingthe building developments in large cities, and the city has beenundergoing a process of uniformification with other cities. Thisarticle evaluates the process of uniformification experienced inTurkish cities through the example of the Midyat case.
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