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Producing Representational Spaces for the Republican Memory in Samsun, Turkey

This article explores the spatialization of a collective memory in Turkey's north coast city of Samsun. In 1919, Mustafa Kemal Pasa's first step onto the Bandirma, the steamer that carried him from the Ottoman capital of Istanbul to Samsun, was also the first step of the Turkish struggle for independence. The dock that led him to the city and the hotel that accommodated him were also thus slated to be narrated as representational spaces of Samsun in the future. Decades later, for securing Samsun's historic role in Turkey's independence, the by-then abandoned Mantika Hotel, the dismantled Bandirma and the demolished Tobacco Dock were successively restored (1998), reconstructed (2001) and rebuilt (2009). Abstract spaces of the official historiography were physically produced in order to represent and remember. Within this context, the author scrutinizes the production of space in the particular case of Samsun and analyses it through Lefebvre's theoretical framework.