The Destruction of Monuments: An Analysis Urban Morphology of Diyarbakir/Suriçi

Bekiroğlu S.

CONFERENCE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, Manchester, United Kingdom, 20 - 23 August 2019, pp.795

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Manchester
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Page Numbers: pp.795
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Within the electoral period of 2015, the armistice between PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and Turkish state ended. Like many other regions of Kurdish provinces, Suriçi, a historical province of Diyarbakir located at the center of the city, became the venue of security operations and armed conflict by the Turkish army. Named as “ditches war” (hendek savaşları) Suriçi became the main area of the conflict which was, to a great extent, resulted in many deaths and the ruinization of the province. Many times through the conflict period, curfew declared by the Turkish government and the state of emergency became the ordinary situation in the region. Resembling an urban war, space became one of the main agents of the conflict with its own morphology and historicity. As Lefebvre put into words, each society has its own spatiality and also centrality which reveals both possibilities and contradictions of the given situation. This centrality (or the spatial architectonics) asserts itself in the architecture or more accurately in the monument in which memory leaves its mark on the space. In that sense, this study, by using photos, reports, maps news, and interviews about Suriçi, will be an effort to examine the destruction of the rhetoric topoi (in other words, monumentalization of the mediocrity) of Suriçi with reference to Lefebvre’s concept of monument and to the urbicide literature.