Immoral objects: a psychogeography of gentrification in Ulus

Taşdizen, Burak
Kaygan, Harun
Once the political and economic center of a thriving, young Republic, Ulus neighbourhood in Ankara continues to host elements of both the city’s republican and religious traditions. The district, first surrounded by slums and then neglected after Kızılay became the capital’s new economic center, has been left to low income groups. Today, the distinctive and multi-layered character of Ulus is being targeted and condemned for having overshadowed the spirituality and morality of Hacibayram, a significant religious site in the district, and has been witness to a major urban transformation on these grounds. The aim of this paper is to trace the “immorality” that is claimed to prevail in the bazaars of Ulus through the employment of a psychogeographical methodology. In line with the emphasis on urban replacement in the current literature on urban transformation, this paper reveals the experiential justifications behind the gentrifiers’ discursive interventions. For this purpose, Ankara Metropolitan Municipality bulletins published between 2008 and 2016 were surveyed and a series of observations were made in different areas in Ulus, including the bazaar areas of Itfaiye Meydani, Telefoncular Pazari, etc., looking closely at the different objects offered on the shelves, as well as how they were presented to the passers-by. The emergent subjective map provides insight into the material environment, significant practices and different social groups invited into the area, unraveling the three main constituents of this alleged immorality: the prevalent alternative economy, current regime of masculinity, and conflicting nostalgias.
4T: Design in Times of Turmoil: Displacement, Replacement, Emplacement (2015)


Ahlak dışı nesneler: Ulus’ta kentsel dönüşümün psikocoğrafyası
Taşdizen, Burak; Kaygan, Harun (2016-12-01)
Bir zamanlar genç Cumhuriyet’in siyasi ve ekonomik merkezi olan Ankara’daki Ulus semti, kentin hem cumhuriyetçi hem de manevi geleneklerine ev sahipliği yapmayı sürdürmektedir. Önce gecekondularla sarılmış, sonrasında Kızılay’ın, başkentin yeni ekonomik merkezi olmaya başlamasıyla geri plana itilmiş semt, düşük gelir gruplarına terk edilmiştir. Günümüzde Ulus’un kendine özgü, çok katmanlı karakteri, kentteki önemli bir dini alan olan Hacıbayram’ın temsil ettiği manevi ve ahlaki değerleri gölgede bıraktığı i...
Social capital formation and disposition of the hometown associations in Turkish politics: the Ankara case
Şenalp, Eren; Şengül, Hüseyin Tarık; Department of Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments (2013)
Large cities in Turkey have been at the centre of political field since the foundation of republic. However starting from the late 1950s, the political dynamics of the large cities have changed immensely thanks to the rapid migrations from the rural areas. In a short space of time half population of the large cities was constituted by the migrant population. In a competitive political environment political parties entered a dynamic relationship with the migrant population characterised by so-called patron-c...
Evaluating the potentials of neglected urban spaces in hıstorıcal city centres to acquire a sense of place: the Iskıtler Small Industry area in Ankara
Alpdemir, İbrahim; Aral, Hacer Ela; Department of Architecture (2023-1-27)
Old city centres that have been able to preserve their position as the cultural and economic heart of an urban hinterland, function as a centre for converging the city’s lifelines as well as acting as a reflection of its image. The spatial and perceptive quality of a city’s centre plays an important role in maintaining its vitality and ensuing an image of its own. This quality is defined by the term place and is a notion that can be perceived by the simultaneous stimulation of the senses. This is something ...
Urban obsolescence: an evaluation of observed and perceived criteria in the context of Ulus historic city center in Ankara
Hatiçoğlu, Mervenur; Büyükcivelek, Ahmet Burak; Department of Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments (2021-11-10)
Ulus, the historic city center of Ankara, has been experiencing a steady urban obsolescence process, which threatens the cultural values inherited from prehistoric civilizations to the early republican period and the ongoing urban life in the quarter. Although there are many concepts in the literature that defines urban depression in cities, such as urban decline, blight, and shrinkage, they all have nuances in their theoretical background in terms of causes and effects. In the case of Ankara city and Ulus ...
Reclaiming the right to the city: Reflections on the urban uprisings in Turkey
Kuymulu, Mehmet Barış (Informa UK Limited, 2013-07-08)
The spark that drew Istanbul into a fire of protest and uprising was initially set off by a modest ‘occupy style’ peaceful resistance, staged against the destruction of an historically public park, an urban commons, in order to make way for yet another shopping mall in Istanbul. Following explicit police violence against the protestors, who were openly discredited by the government for being a few looters, the urban centers of Turkey saw a full-fledged uprising, gathering considerable international steam as...
Citation Formats
B. Taşdizen and H. Kaygan, “Immoral objects: a psychogeography of gentrification in Ulus,” presented at the 4T: Design in Times of Turmoil: Displacement, Replacement, Emplacement (2015), İzmir, Türkiye, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: