CfP: Cities on the Move: Turkey and Yugoslavia in the Interwar Period

Third Balkan Visual Meeting, 14-16 September 2017, University of Basel

Yugoslavia and Turkey are two nation states which emerged at the end of World War I on the remains of the Ottoman (and in case of Yugoslavia, partly of the Habsburg) Empire. One was a monarchy formed at the Versailles Peace Conference in 1918, with the former King of Serbia becoming the King of a ‘three-named nation’ of South-Slavs. The other, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was forged under the conviction that the Ottomanist policy of the last Sultans had failed and that the Anatolian ‘heart’ of the former empire was therefore to become exclusively Turk. The founding of the two new states triggered a dynamic development especially in the large cities, where the new regimes first implemented their nation building projects.

The Third Balkan Visual Meeting (14-16 September 2017, University of Basel) will look at these developments from a visual approach and explore how urban landscapes and everyday life in these cities changed under the new national order, addressing the following issues:

1. The city centre as a showcase of progress and modernity
2. The old çarşı/čaršija between neglect, nostalgia, and reform
3. Nationalist ‘Zeitgeist’: Nation and Body in the city
4. From subject to citizen: Gender, body and dress
5. Leisure and holidays
6. Workers and poverty relief
7. Art and Urban Planning
8. The ruler in the city: Progress, Repression, Neglect?

The main focus is on the cities which are under investigation in the ongoing Basel SIBA project: Sarajevo, Istanbul, Belgrade, Ankara, but also other cases are welcome. The SIBA project explores the cities named above through the photographic lens of local press reporters and press reports in large daily newspapers such as ‘Politika’, ‘Vreme’, ‘Cumhuriyet’ and ‘Akşam’ (see

Please submit your paper proposal, including name and affiliation, paper title, an abstract of up to 300 words and a short academic bio, to Yorick Tanner ( by 26 February 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by 12 March 2017. We plan to publish a selection of papers in an edited volume on the visual history of the Balkans and Anatolia.

7 War Memorials that Bear Witness to the Great Loss at Gallipoli

On 25 April 1915, the Allied force launched amphibious landings on the Gallipoli Peninsular. The aim was to control the straits and capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The Allied landings, which included French, Australian and New Zealand troops, were heavily opposed by Turkish forces and a trench warfare stalemate followed in extreme heat and appalling conditions. This eventually ended in a disastrous Allied defeat with over 250,000 casualties, including 58,000 dead. Turkish losses were heavier still.

These seven war memorials, are notable among the tens of thousands in every village, town and city in the country for their association with the Gallipoli campaign. Like all war memorials, they are tangible and poignant reminders of events a century ago.

For more information, see here.