On 13 February 2019, The Circle hosted KonuŞu talk titled “Pera as a Sociological Case.”

Having a history of almost 2000 years, Pera is one of the neighbourhoods that kept its historical features intact with minimum change. Despite that, Pera’s sociological structure and architecture have been subject to change due to changing political-economical conditions.

Meaning ‘the other side’ in Greek, Pera had been used from Bizans to Ottoman times as a trade center situated at the ‘the other side’ of the city. Pera district, generally hosting the Armenian, Greek and Levantine minorities, included a wide diversity of architectural styles. Being the trade center of Ottoman Empire for a long while, Pera had to go through radical change after the great fire in 19th century. With its ability to keep the track of every social change from Tanzimat Reform Era to date, Pera in fact is a sociological case.

In this talk these questions will be addressed: What does the architectural history of Pera tell us about the history of Turkey? How shall we address Pera as a sociological case? What is the place of Pera in collective memory? How may times Pera ‘died’ in its history? How did neoliberal policies effect Pera?  

Korhan Gümüş | Architect, Writer

Zafer Akay | Architectural Historian

About KonuŞu:
KonuŞu is a new talking platform founded to understand present times with the help of the invited specialists on social issues. 

KonuŞu was founded in 2018 by sociologist Hale Ceren Zeytinoğlu.