Uluc­an­lar from Prison to Museum: Contes­ta­tion on Memory and the Future in Turkey (2020)

Peer reviewed / Buchveröffentlichung


This chapter analyzes the museum of Ulucanlar prison using several research techniques. The official narrative of the Ulucanlar museum is traced, mainly through the representation and reception of the museum on the news. It attempts to answer, through analysis of the visitors’ entries in the prison/museum notebooks, and interviews held with focus groups, questions of how the visitors read the museum, make meanings of what is included and excluded, and how this is represented in the museum. Some of the participants of the focus groups had either experienced imprisonment (if not the Ulucanlar prison) or had a relative or friend who had been imprisoned. At the end of the chapter, there are recommendations about how to transform the Ulucanlar museum from a place where the official guests are received, and to turn it from a tourist and commercial space where both nationalist and religious elements are emphasized, to a museum of memory and human rights which not only documents the violation of human rights, but also becomes a space to advocate human rights.


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Gencel Bek, Mine (2020): „Ulucanlar from Prison to Museum: Contestation on Memory and the
Future in Turkey“, in: Marcus Harmes et al. (Hg.): The Palgrave Handbook of Incarceration in Popular
Media. Palgrave, S. 745–762.