Ankara: The Construction Of Urban Identity Through Central Anatolian Music

Kürklü S.

12TH CONFERENCE OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION, Praha, Czech Republic, 25 - 28 August 2015, pp.162-163

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Praha
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Page Numbers: pp.162-163
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


The purpose of this study is to understand the underlying mechanisms of Central Anatolian Music performed in Ankara pavyons (a specific type of night club in Turkey). The distance/affinity of this music with traditional music, arabesk and other genres allows the researcher to posit it as a distinct musical genre, especially given its socio-historical context which covers the dilemmas of the republican era related to domestic migration. Music videos, songs and dances in pavyons are seen as major elements of the construction of urban Ankaraian identity featuring the city as capital and also a center of attraction for immigration. Furthermore, this urban identity regarding Ankara music has a masculine character considering the sexist nature of performances, such as a paid dance performed by an audience member with a dancer woman who combines “western” dance figures with male “folk dance” figures. This masculine urban identity has become a popular image on mainstream media, with its peculiar music, in the form of TV series such as Behzat C. and Ankara’nın Dikmeni and also movies like Yolunda A.Ş. and Çalgı Çengi. Bearing in mind that the reproduction area of the type of music in question is likely to change due to the ongoing urban renewal projects, the study has an historical significance. The study has been conducted through in-depth interviews and two focus groups with dancers, musicians and audience members as well as some 200 music videos and a four-month period of participant observation in 2014.