Displaying cultural heritage, defining collective identity: museums from the late Ottoman Empire to the early Turkish Republic

Gürol Öngören, Pelin
As the powerful visual instruments of modernity, museums have been formulated in multiple narratives under the impact of political ideologies in the modern world. The study aims to analyze the museums of different socio-political contexts of the late Ottoman Empire and the early Turkish Republic comparatively by examining to what extent their buildings, collections, and displaying methods were utilized in the formation of collective identities as part of contemporary imperialist, nationalist, and modernist ideologies. The overall aim of the study is to analyze how history and cultural heritage were perceived and processed for the definition of a common cultural identity in the two different historical contexts by focusing on their display in museums. This study examines pioneering archaeological and ethnographic museums in Turkey, focusing on the Ottoman Imperial Museum [Müze-i Hümayun (1887-1891)], the Museum of Pious Foundations [Evkaf-ı İslamiye Müzesi (1914)], Ankara Ethnographical Museum (1925-1927; opened in 1930), the non-implemented project including a National Museum (also called as Hittite Museum) (1933), and the Hittite Museum (also known as Eti Müzesi; and later called as Anatolian Civilizations Museum) (restoration began in 1938)]. In order to provide a critical evaluation, the study utilizes the knowledge produced not only in architecture but also in history, archaeology, ethnography, and museology while analyzing the formation of those museums within their contexts.


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Citation Formats
P. Gürol Öngören, “Displaying cultural heritage, defining collective identity: museums from the late Ottoman Empire to the early Turkish Republic,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2012.