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The formation of a modern city: Antalya, 1920s-1980s

Bölükbaş Dayı, Esin.
This dissertation examines the place of the concept of “local” in architectural historiography by focusing on the modernization process of Antalya. The analysis of the process is realized within two major contexts. On the one hand, the “peripheral” position of Antalya in canonic historiography is discussed in the frame of center-periphery relations and central-local actors; on the other hand, the developments both in the city center and its hinterlands are examined through the dualities of rural and urban, and natural and built environments. In the early Republican period, major modernization steps were experienced in the rural hinterlands considering the agricultural identity of Antalya developed in relation to the characteristics of its natural environment. On the other hand, urbanization, which is commonly associated with the modernization process implemented by the state during the twentieth century, started to transform the built environment in the city center and also affected its hinterland by the construction of new buildings for administration and public services, finance and trade, leisure and recreation, dwelling, and production, in which local initiatives also took on roles. Tourism policies after the 1960s had the most dramatic effect on the transformation of Antalya, increasing the touristic places in its center and hinterland, and turning the city itself into a center of tourism towards the end of the century by appropriating its natural and cultural richness. Thus, the formation of Antalya as a modern city from the 1920s to the 1980s was realized via the transformation of its built environment according to the constraints of its natural characteristics, and by the effects of both central policies and local responses.