THE ICONOSTASIS IN THE REPUBLICAN MOSQUE: TRANSFORMED RELIGIOUS SITES AS ARTIFACTS OF INTERSECTING RELIGIOSCAPES


TANYERİ ERDEMİR T. , Hayden R. M. , ERDEMİR A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, vol.46, no.3, pp.489-512, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0020743814000567
  • Title of Journal : INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES
  • Page Numbers: pp.489-512

Abstract

In this paper we focus on the Republican Mosque in Derinkuyu, Turkey, a Greek Orthodox church built in 1859 and transformed into a mosque in 1949 that still exhibits many obviously Christian structural features not found in most such converted churches. We utilize the concept of religioscape, defined as the distribution in spaces through time of the physical manifestations of specific religious traditions and of the populations that build them, to analyze the historical transformations of the building, and show that this incongruity marks a specific stage in the long-term competitive sharing of space by the two religiously defined communities concerned. This shared but contested space is larger than that of the building or even the town of Derinkuyu. We argue that syncretism without sharing correlates with a lack of need to show dominance symbolically, since the community that had lost the sacred building had been displaced as a group, and was no longer present to be impressed or intimidated.