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Searching for place identity in post-traumatic cities: Diyarbakrr suriçi case

Türk, Didem
The destruction of cities through traumatic events bring opportunities for the reconstruction of these places. The implementation of redevelopment processes and actors in post-traumatic planning processes play a critical role in the reconstruction of place identity. The impact of decision-makers plays an essential role especially in the reconstruction of historical sites. The general approach to redeveloping historical sites in Turkey is demolishing exiting/damaged buildings and structures and built new ones. While cities are being reconstructed through their place identity, physical and social aspects are ignored, and this situation is repeated for cities after the traumatic event as well. All these concerns rise some questions, which are: How people identify themselves with their home communities? What constitutes the identity of places? What is the importance of place identity in the redevelopment of cities? And, in the post- traumatic period, how can these identifications guide the redevelopment of places? This thesis follows the physical destruction of the city of Diyarbakir Suriçi and theories regarding place identity, identification with place, and monuments to address these questions. General phases of the theoretical framework were drawn from existing literature to examine the selected case. In-depth interviews were conductedto understand the role of local inhabitants and their relation to the physical environment. Results show that physical and social identity of Suriçi is related to physical attributes of the settings (like house formation), activities in the area (like economic and social activities) and the meaning ascribed to this place.