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Rise and fall of an industrial city: the changing sense of place in Karadeniz Ereğli

Demirkol, Atahan
Karadeniz Ereğli is a single-industry city that transformed from a coastal town to an industrial city thanks to the establishment of Ereğli Iron and Steel Company in the 1960s. Kdz. Ereğli as a single-industry city started to change in regard to economic, social, and political aspects, and in the last 60 years, the company has been the major institution to lead these transformations. Erdemir has shaped the memories and identities in the city and changed the characteristic features of the place. The rising period that started with the establishment of the company through its positive social and economic contributions changed the sense of place. However, the privatization of the company in 2006 also shifted the sense of place for the second time. The changed relationship between the company and the city led people to rethink about the values of the place. Therefore, Erdemir as the major institution in the city reproduced the sense of place through its effects on collective memory. This thesis analyzes the changing of sense of place in Kdz. Ereğli throughout this long transformation by placing special emphasis on the role of Iron and Steel factory as the major institution dominating the city. Therefore, this study introduces two important concepts: institutional reproduction of sense of place and institutionally mediated collective memory. In order to argue these concepts, field research has been conducted in Kdz. Ereğli by using semi-structured in-depth interviews to analyze the change of sense of place by Erdemir. Moreover, these interviews provided local perceptions and reevaluations about the place from today to back to the 1960s so that expose the shifts in the sense of place.