Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gonul Bozoglu
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
The quotation in the title is from a comment endorsing the Panorama 1453 Museum, made upon its opening in 2009 by Özleyiş Topbaş, wife of the mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbaş. Today the comment is used to market the museum on its website, alongside others by prominent members of the Conservative-Islamist AKP administration. The AKP has focused significant effort on fostering public memory of the capture of the Byzantine city of Constantinople on 29 May 1453. Festivities, re-enactments, public imagery and the spectacular Panorama museum itself tell a glorious story of the Ottoman victory and the magnanimous treatment of the defeated Byzantines. In these narratives, public audiences are invited to identify with the Ottomans, and to celebrate a ‘Turkish’ claim to presence reliant on the Hadith in which the conquest is prophesised. Through the populist rhetoric and cultural interventions of the AKP the historic, expansionist encroachment on others is glorified, and Islam is placed at the heart of the story of Turkish identity and homeland. Seen from another perspective – that of the Greek population in Istanbul and its diaspora – the ‘Fall’ of Constantinople can be understood differently, as an act of invasion and colonization, resulting in subjugation and loss. This is exemplified in museal displays about 1453 in Athens and in interviews collected from Istanbulli-Greek communities there and in Istanbul. This chapter uses perspectives from theories of cultural memory and dissonant heritage to contrasts the memory cultures of 1453, exploring its significance for majority-minority relations
Author(s): Bozoğlu G
Editor(s): De Cesari, C.; Kaya, A.
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: European Memory in Populism: Representations of Self and Other
Print publication date: 15/10/2019
Online publication date: 08/10/2019
Acceptance date: 02/04/2018
Place Published: Abingdon
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