The making of a 'city of culture' : restructuring Antalya

Varlı-Görk, Reyhan
This study tries to identify agencies’ strategies in the ‘urban restructuring’ of Antalya into a ‘city of culture’ by examining the underlying relation between urban cultural policies and global capitalism. Pursuing the relational thinking of the Marxist urban political economy paradigm, the theoretical frames for the concepts of ‘restructuring’ and ‘city of culture’ were investigated using multi-dimensional approaches of existing scholarly literature. Since the concept ‘city of culture’ involves growth oriented development strategies of cities competing with other cities for capital, the concept is examined in these sub-fields: (field of art and culture; subfield(s) of urban -planning, -governance, -politics, -design; field of economy; field of tourism). Thus, to outline a theory of practice for the ‘growth machine’ agents, the transformation of the ‘forms of capital’ that both the agents and Antalya ‘city’ possess is examined in four sub-fields in the general field of power in Antalya. Various qualitative research methods were used to understand what underlies the restructuring process. Most of the qualitative data resulted from direct interviews; 28 individuals from six groups (the representatives of -cultural, educational and academic institutions; -capitalist investors; -local government; -NGOs; -central government; Antalyalite Intelligentsia) and a group interview (with 6 academics at Akdeniz University) during the field research conducted between 2006 and 2008. This thesis identifies the Antalya Greater Municipality (AGM) as the leading agency in the pro-growth coalition in Antalya with support from ATSO (Antalya Chamber of Trade and Commerce) among various other local and global agents (TÜRSAK, ıGM-ıstanbul Greater Municipality, WTO, EU) with their wealth of economic, cultural, commercial, social, and symbolic capitals influencing urban restructuring in Antalya. Opposing them is a group critical of cultural, economic and urban policies compatible with the policies trying to ease the transformation of Antalya into a festival marketplace or fantasy city. Eventually, it is argued that the urban elites’ strategies to transform Antalya into a ‘city of culture’ have produced a ‘growth machine’ using the world city ideology to convince people of the benefits of this transformation. The essential finding of this study is that the ‘state’ is the most active player in the restructuring process through its interventions in various fields.


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Citation Formats
R. Varlı-Görk, “The making of a ‘city of culture’ : restructuring Antalya,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.