This article examines four archaeological and ethnographic museums in the provinces of Turkey designed by Erten Altaban, a female architect. While these museums have long been neglected and viewed as a sign of Turkey’s failure to preserve its cultural heritage, this study suggests that they reveal a conscious project of forgetting – a negligence of the diversity of memories in the creation of official histories. From a cosmopolitan and feminist perspective, this paper points out that the abandoned spaces of these archaeological and ethnographic museums contain the potential to draw attention to what has been forgotten within the official historiographies. Unlike existing scholarship that focuses on central museums and views them as representations of dominant historical narratives, this study points at peripheral structures as conveyers of memories left out of prevailing accounts.
Keywords: cultural heritage; female architects; memory; museums in Turkey; peripheral architecture
Sade Mete, Özge. "Contested Memories: A Cosmopolitan and Feminist Analysis of Four Provincial Museums in Turkey." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 4, Number 1 (pp. 137-159), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2014.