Conference article

Narrating the “New” History: Museums in the Construction of the Turkish Republic

Melania Savino
University of London, UK

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Published in: Great Narratives of the Past Traditions and Revisions in National Museums

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 78:16, p. 253-264

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Published: 2012-10-30


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The disciplines of archaeology and museology underwent a profound reformation after the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. The Kemalist idea was to found a new state with new traditions; a common heritage to share within the Turkish boundaries; and the past became a powerful tool to fulfil this project. Numerous excavations were conducted in Anatolia after the 1930s; and consequently the archaeological museums were intended to play an important role in showing the new archaeological discoveries to the wider public. This paper aims to investigate the connection between museums and national identity in Turkey after the establishment of the Republic. In the first part; I analyze the development of the history of archaeological practice and its political implications before and after the foundation of the Republic. In the second part; I focus my attention on the foundation and development of the Archaeological Museums of Istanbul and Ankara; investigating the connection between the state and the museums through the visual representation of the past.


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