Historical witness of the space for social relations: Ankara Kizilay Square

Turhanoglu A. K.

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, vol.8, no.2, pp.23-34, 2014 (Scopus) identifier


© Common Ground, F. Aysin K. Turhanoglu, All Rights Reserved.Space is constructed as a social product. It is not a passive surface and also affects social relations. In accordance with Lefebvre's consideration within "abstract space," capitalist mode of production creates its own production and reproduction spaces such as the vast network of banks, business centres, shopping malls, motorways, and airports. Moreover, state produces abstract space of economic and managerial dominance. Abstract space is conceived by knowledge and power that is related with political rulers, economic interests, administrators, and planners whilst social space is produced by everyday life such as dwelling, house, park, and square. Conceived spaces that have an impact on spatial texture, leave a narrow area for everyday experiences of "lived space." The penetration of capitalism into everyday life impressively gives rise to the contradiction between social space and conceived space of capitalist relations. In this sense, square as social space wherein these contradictions are made visible by means of protests, meetings, etc. constitutes important characteristics of the city. Hence the square shows the relationship between spatial organization and social relations as an indicator and should be dealt with the history of its relevance of political and economic processes. Kizilay Square has played an important role as social space for the capital city, Ankara. The square became a space for social reactions and oppositional demonstrations by different political and social groups in certain historical periods. In these periods, political power intended to restrain and control the social relations that took place on the square by means of the spatial measures and prohibitions. It is clear that intervention into spatial organization of Kizilay Square was necessitated for the control of social relations. In the context of this study, it is aimed to analyse the relationship between social relations and spatial organization through historical witness of Ankara Kizilay Square.