Musealization as an Urban Process: The Transformation of the Sultanahmet District in Istanbul's Historic Peninsula

Aykac P.

JOURNAL OF URBAN HISTORY, vol.45, no.6, pp.1246-1272, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0096144219853775
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1246-1272
  • Keywords: musealization, urban regeneration, Istanbul's historic peninsula, heritage politics, CONSERVATION, MUSEALISATION
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


As culture-led urban regeneration has become a widely adopted strategy for dilapidated historic cities, the museum as a concept has become a key aspect of this regeneration. With the tangible and intangible aspects of culture being presented in museums, many historic buildings are repurposed as museums, urban, or archaeological sites designated as open-air museums, and the boundaries between museums and historic cities have been dissolved. This article discusses how the museum concept expands from the boundaries of a single building into the historic city itself. Defining this expansion as musealization, this article evaluates its contribution as an urban process in the transformation of Sultanahmet in Istanbul's historic peninsula, which has been the major subject of conservation studies from the nineteenth century until present day.