Publicity, memory and politics: the quincentennial foundation museum of Turkish jews

Sert, Osman Cihan
This study analyzes the Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews, which is the first and single minority museum in the Turkish public domain. The principal aim of this analysis to shed light on the museum as an instutional indicator of the boundaries to take a place in the public sphere by the Turkish Jews and locating the museum between three main pillars of the Jewish-Holocaust memory politics'. The Quincentennial commemorations of the 1492 expulsion to the Europe and the Ottoman Empire narrated the Sepharad exile as another humanitarian tragedywithin the relation of the Holocaust memory. The Turkish State and the Quincentennial Foundation played prime roles in this memory production. To this aim, the museum is analyzed in relation of the narration of the admission of the Sepharad refugees in 1492 and legitimation of Jewish presence in the thepublic sphere. This study will seek to answer of these questions; how the Jewish presence in Turkey is reflected over the memory of realms, how this presence is legitimized and how the Turkish State recognized and supported the quincentennial commemorations despite its traditional memory politics to the minorities. At the end, it will be concluded how the museum provides advantages to both sides and some dilemmas to the Jewish community.


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The Ministries Quarter, the MQ, in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is a very interesting case for modern planning and architecture, conceptualised and developed in the first quarter of the twentieth century. As with other governmental centres and administrative hubs, it was attributed the mission of representing the political power of the newly born nation, facilitating physical, symbolic, cultural and historic channels of producing meaning. However, the successive intervention and involvement of architects,...
Citation Formats
O. C. Sert, “Publicity, memory and politics: the quincentennial foundation museum of Turkish jews,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2018.