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Kirsten Armstrong: The Uncertain Garden: the role of landscape in Istanbul's contested urban identity

While there have been contentions in Istanbul throughout the years, the current climate of urban development leans towards profit over local needs. Lacking spaces of outright armed conflict, Istanbul may represent a more subtle conflict. By asking how and to what extent landscape formulates Istanbul’s urban identity this research aims to explore the tensions in Istanbul’s political, social, and urban life. This will be done through the Yedikule bostans, market gardens which possess historical continuity to Byzantium yet whose future is obscured in narratives of uncertainty. How, and who, are the residents reacting to the garden’s demolition? Exploring urban identity and privatization of space versus governmental control becomes vital to discussions on city growth and sustainability in lieu of protests worldwide. The urban changes of Istanbul are restructuring the city’s fabric. Will these developments change the way it is experienced, severing sense of place?