Inheriting Dispossession, Mobilizing Vulnerability: Heritage amid Protest in Contemporary Turkey
journal article
This article discusses recent Occupy-style protests that took place at sites of heritage quality in Turkey. It looks into the material and discursive ways in which the protests have negotiated possession, dispossession and belonging across time. Cultural heritage is more often than not understood as a ‘thing’ belonging to a particular proprietor (regardless of heritage’s intangibility or the proprietor’s collectivity or anonymity). It is regulated as such not just on the level of nation states but also globally. The examples discussed in this article, however, have seen much of this association thrown into disarray by shifting focus, instead, to vulnerability and dispossession. This shift of focus invokes the following two forces: (1) the violent pasts and their role in the production of ‘cultural heritage’ as such, and (2) the risk of earthquake and its prompting of negotiations over the use, ownership and physical layout of heritage-quality sites. What sorts of political agency might heritage enable when it is experienced and conceptualized through vulnerability and dispossession? What might such experience and conceptualization mean for the temporalities and human–nonhuman hierarchy associated with conventional understandings of belonging in and through heritage? The article explores these questions through two cases: Gezi Park and its environs in Istanbul, and the Tigris Valley (including Hewsel Gardens and Mount Kirklar) in Diyarbakir. 

Keywords: belonging; disaster; heritage; property; temporality; violence
Çayli, Eray. "Inheriting Dispossession, Mobilizing Vulnerability: Heritage amid Protest in Contemporary Turkey." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 5, Number 2 (pp. 359-378) , edited by Heghnar Zeitlian Watenpaugh, Bristol: Intellect, 2016.
cultural heritage