Recent "Nation Gardens" and Historical Development of Public Green Spaces in Turkey
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Focusing on contemporary Turkey's "nation gardens" and the state and governmental policies to build them, this study investigated the development processes and design features of these public green spaces with respect to those from past eras of Turkey (extending to Ottoman and pre-Ottoman history) and the development of public green spaces as the state's symbolic and spatial tools. The study relied on secondary sources about public green spaces from past eras of Turkey and also on the review of online news about "nation gardens" initiated after President Erdogan's announcement in May 2018. Our findings suggested that public green spaces in Turkey have played an important role in displaying the state's power nationally and internationally as well as to transfer the state's ideologies to people and thus, to build new identities of 'citizens.' Interestingly, in sharing these intentions of past policies for public green spaces, the recent introduction of nation gardens differs from those in the 19th and 20th century. Without any emphasis on modernization goals in the western-style, recent official talks described nation gardens as a way to raise Turkey and the government's reputation both nationally and internationally, while also referring to past eras but with other characteristics as the source of "traditions" extending to today.