GAP*· REGION: THE STORY OF SOCIAL CHANGE AND CULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE CITIES OF ANCIENT TIMES

Abstract

Author(s): Kamuran SAM?

The ancient cities (Diyarbak?r, Mardin, ?anl?urfa, Gaziantep Hasankeyf and Harran etc.) located in the GAP Region have been able to bring the historical impressions of “multiple cultural heritage” and “traditional urban life” created within the historical cycles of the Mesopotamian civilization to our day within the context of a common memory. Unlike today’s cities defined in the light of differentassessments, the traditional qualifications of which were extracted from their essence, the ancient cities have been able to harbor the urban values which were more naïve and their characteristics being humanistic in joint life and inclusive among the societal structure layers. The societal pattern brought into existence by such cities, the historical position they have and the symbolic structures they constructed at the benchmarks of urban settlements are as old as the civilization history of the mankind. The historicalness, unique social structure and socio-cultural processes of each city have emerged in the tendency of a mode of societal living being experienced in various forms in the continual interval of the time spreading to spatial thought. The first cities have come into existence on these ancient lands and the first laws have dominated the social order of the mankind at such time and born witness to the first peace treaties and emergence of the first writing. The GAP region has become the cradle of civilizations, large and small, having existed/disappeared in the temporal plane having created opportunities for various communities and cultures to spring to life and going beyond the centuries in the context of social and economic development processes as of the historical identity it owned. The city textures having gone out on the historical heritage of a pluralistic culture are being tried to be reshaped in the center of penchants having arisen in the perspective of civic tendencies of today. The domestic migration, destruction of the ancient, social eversion and the problems created by being left to live within the security problems exposed by the region’s cities and rural settlements are still able to preserve their existing structure. The research coming into existence within this context will contribute one to read the value of cultural heritage beginning to be erased in the world of city-dwellers and the social memories of “humanistic cities” being lost or destroyed in the spiral of new cycles.

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