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Recasting imperial pasts and palimpsest in Balat, Istanbul
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CitationHaliloğlu, N. (2017). Recasting imperial pasts and palimpsest in Balat, Istanbul. Through the Looking Glass of the Local: Rereading Istanbul's Heterogeneous Pasts, Göttingen, Sep 2017.
This paper aims to trace the afterlives of a neighbourhood of Istanbul that sprawls along the western side of the Golden Horn. Today, Balat has become the name of an area that comprises the neighbourhoods of Fener, Balat and Ayvansaray, because it is perceived as having the most recognizable ‘period features’ in which the Byzantine and Ottoman traces are conflated. This paper explores its representation in Byzantine, Ottoman and Republican times and tries to parse the layers of history. In my reading of this metonymic neighbourhood I will take recourse to the concepts of palimpsest, chronotope (macera) and heterotopia, bearing in mind that all three are concepts derived from Greek, a local language.