Residents’ Sense of the Place in Galata Neighbourhood, in Istanbul
Keywords:Galata neighbourhood, Istanbul, place attachment, sense of place
The paper intends to examine the sense of the place phenomenon, which can be defined as a result of constant interaction between psychophysiological mechanisms of human-beings and physical properties of tangible environment. Shamai’s (1991) approach to sense of the place will be employed in this research. According to his suggested scale, level of sense of the place varies from “not having any sense of a place” to “sacrifice for a place” (Shamai, 1991). The generic hypothesis of this research is that there are certain factors (historical, social, cultural, physical or temporal) which determine particular level of sense of the place. The case study of Galata neighbourhood will be carried out in order to gain better understanding of sense of the place phenomenon and to define the significance of its decisive factors. Galata is a very special historical neighbourhood of Istanbul. It was established as a western, Latin and Catholic colony. Later on, it became a residential area for Greeks and Jews. Thus, this area was a non-Muslim area for quite a long time. Turkish people started to move in here more abundantly only since the middle of the twentieth century. Despite that, Galata neighbourhood has kept its international character even till now. Today Galata is famous worldwide for the richness of architectural, cultural and religious heritage and it attracts millions of tourist every year. Therefore, it is even more interesting to understand how locals feel this place and what factors strengthen their place attachment.