This study analyzes various representations of cultural identity in Turkish
architectural discourse. Religious identity, national identity, and regional identity are
taken to be key areas of identity discourse in Turkey, and this analysis focuses closely
on representative examples of each of these three areas.
Among Turkish architects, identity discourse is generally framed within essentialist ideas.
Thus, identities—and architecture—are presented in binary oppositions:
modern/traditional, Eastern/Western, Islamist/secular. This paper explores the space inbetween the poles of these oppositions.
Fluidity and intangibility are recognizable characteristics of identity as seen through
postcolonial studies. The dissertation is an anti-essentialist construction of identity such
that the discourse within architecture can revel in both extremes and make its own place
within the ambiguity of the in-between. The aim is to suggest new possibilities for
identity and for identity politics to occupy the debate on architecture.