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The Agency of Words and Images in the Transformation of Istanbul: The Case of Ayazma


This thesis investigates the discourse production of the media in Turkey; the role of the mainstream media in legitimizing urban transformation policies of the Turkish government and the social agency of alternative media in raising public awareness about the concept of urban transformation, through the case of Ayazma Urban Transformation Project in Istanbul. The Ayazma case demonstrates that, during the Ayazma Urban Transformation Project while the mainstream media developed a supportive discourse that fosters the dominance of the government in the production of urban space in Turkey, the alternative media developed an oppositional discourse with the aim of stopping the actions of the government in urban space—although it has no immediate practical implications for the urban transformation projects that are underway. However, this thesis argues that the accumulated role of the alternative media’s presentation of urban transformation projects has shaped an understanding of the contemporary urbanization processes in Turkey. Although the mainstream media is apparently more dominant than the alternative media in terms of having influence upon the implementation of governmental projects in cities, the oppositional and resistive discourse of the alternative media paves the way for ruptures in history that may fire future urban revolutions.

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