Spatial Stories of Izmir: A Narrative Study on the Influence of Trader Families on the Spatial Development of the Port City
In March 2020, UNESCO received a submission regarding to the cultural value of Izmir. Izmir is an East Mediterranean port city, located on the western coastline of present-day Turkey, which has been a significant hub in international trade throughout its history especially during the nineteenth century. Commerce brought merchants from all over the world to settle in Izmir, with their unique habits, interests and socio-spatial practices, which deeply affected the urban and architectural image of
... hitectural image of the city. In this contribution, we wish to investigate how these processes of influence took place by tracing the narratives of these merchants' life in Izmir. The submission to the UNESCO World Heritage List defined the port city of Izmir based solely on the physical boundaries of the historic urban fabrics, thereby not addressing the impact of the cosmopolitan life of the city in its wider territorial context, extending beyond historical waterfront. Our contribution will show how the culture of the port city affected the former residential neighborhoods of the trading families, that are today interwoven with the modern districts of Izmir. We chose to focus our inquiry on the urban life of the 19th century: looking at the stories of those who inhabited, used, and visited the city at the peak of its cosmopolitan culture, it is possible to understand the tight relationships between waterfront and hinterland of the city.