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Global Urban History Project

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Basic Information
American University of Beirut
Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture and Design

American University Of Beirut, Bliss Street, Hamra

1107 2020

Additional Information
About My Work
I am an urban historian specialized in the late Ottoman and post-Ottoman history of the Eastern Mediterranean. My current book project explores the urban transformations of Istanbul in the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire, focusing on the issues of urban planning, urban administration, architecture, and historical preservation. In this book project, I demonstrate the much-neglected role of local actors and institutions in the making of post-Ottoman Istanbul. My research positions the local institutions and residents of Istanbul as major actors that processed and domesticated the principles and theories of global urbanism during the interwar period. A hub of architects and urbanists of global stature, mostly those that fled the German-speaking countries under the Nazi regime, Istanbul had a vibrant public sphere where diverse theories of modern architecture and urbanism were debated and negotiated by various actors. My book project argues that the culture of negotiation in this vibrant public sphere fueled the urban modernization of Istanbul, constituting an illuminating case of the mechanisms through which the global urban modernization of the interwar period unfolded. In addition to this book project, I also co-contributed to a comprehensive edited volume on the Global Interwar with a chapter on the global urban, which will be published in 2023.
“À La Recherche de l’Espace Perdu: Architecture, Urban Fabric, and French Travelers to Antioch (1784-1939),” Architectural Histories, 4 (1), 2016, pp. 1-17.

“The Urban,” (co-authored with Ilham-Khuri Makdisi), in Andrew Denning and Heidi J.S. Tworek eds., The Interwar World, the Routledge Worlds Series (forthcoming in 2023)

“Class, Resilience, and Entertainment in Beirut (1915-2021): A Short Commentary,” in Nilay Özlü and Seda Kula Say eds., Spectacle, Entertainment and Recreation in Late Ottoman Empire and Early Republican Turkey, Intellect (forthcoming in 2023)

“‘Meydanlar Bizimdir!’ Erken Cumhuriyet İstanbul’unda Kamusal Alan Mücadeleleri (1923-1949),” [“‘Public Squares Belong to Us!’ Struggles over Public Space in Early Republican Istanbul (1923-1949)”], in Cemal Kafadar et al eds., Şehrin Doğası: Tarihsel ve Güncel Tartışmalar Işığında İstanbul’da Toprak, Yeşil ve Su (The Nature of the City: Soil, Green, and Water in Istanbul in the Light of Historical and Contemporary Debates), Metis, Istanbul (forthcoming in 2023)

“David Harvey ile Mülakat: Kent, Akademi, Çevre, Sınıf” (Interview with David Harvey: City, Academia, Environment, Class), Toplumsal Tarih (Social History), May 2014, pp. 22-28.

Work in Progress


Global Locality, National Modernity: Negotiating Urban Transformation in Early Republican Istanbul (1923-1949)

Editor of Special Dossier

Capitalistic Urbanization in Late Ottoman Istanbul: Armenian Agencies (with Tolga Cora)
Professional Associations
Histories of Urban Design

European Association for Urban History