Conquering Istanbul: The Controversy over the Taksim Mosque Project


Anthropology in Action: Journal of Applied Anthropology, vol.11, pp.22-31, 2004 (International Refereed University Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Title of Journal : Anthropology in Action: Journal of Applied Anthropology
  • Page Numbers: pp.22-31


This article concentrates on a recent public controversy over a mosque project in Istanbul, Turkey. It examines how Islamist circles negotiate with the agents of the official nationalist discourse over the cultural identity of the city. The mosque signifies the Ottoman-Islamic heritage that has been marginalized under the pretext of modernization; and it seeks a place for itself among the republican imagery of the urban space. This case study demonstrates how the cultural heritage policy of the Republican state is being challenged in the Islamist public sphere in contemporary Turkey.