The Local Perception of Sultanahmet Archeology Park HeritageLab

ID CARD: Heritage and Society; Shared Heritage; Practices of Conservation, Preservation and Management


Sultanahmet Archaeological Park Area has located in the Historical Peninsula, and it is one of the most visited areas of Istanbul. It is the center of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. This place has preserved its features as a center where people from different cultures come for various reasons in all historical periods. When it has been registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1985, it already had significant cultural stratification.

Over the last 35 years, it has increasingly become a tourist destination. Thus, the region has changed its shape in accordance with the tourism economy and is filled with accommodation facilities such as hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops.

The project is based on the communities living today in relation to Sultanahmet Square. One of the aims is to document other histories that exist in the memory of the society living today. Because besides the iconic and ostentatious historical buildings of the region such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapı Palace; the Sultanahmet Square has had various meanings through time for people. The diversity of individual and communal stories that have been overshadowed by those cultural assets is going to be documented. The other aim of this project is to understand the perspectives of the changing and replacing communities about this UNESCO WHS.


This project is being conducted by the students and academicians of Istanbul Nişantaşı University, History, and Tourist Guiding Departments under the direction of Nurcan Yalman.


Webinar for Our World Heritage Initiative on the 13th of December:

Other Stories, Over Histories of the SultanAhmet Archaeological Park: an Alternative Perception of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Available at:


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