The historical center of Istanbul is defined by the city walls, now over 1600 years old. Up until the 1950s, the walls defined the city limits to the West. For a long time, the modern Turkish State and Istanbul's contentious status as a 'non-capital' have together hindered recognition of the city walls as a historical monument. Since the turn of the century, there has been much debate on whether the walls should be demolished as redundant or simply a nuisance. Their only acknowledged claim to a place in the city's historical memory lies in the fact that they were breached when Istanbul was conquered. It therefore appears as if they can only be integrated into the collective memory as Islamic land walls.
A lecture given by Dr. Julia Strutz (Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, LMU Munich)
The lecture series on The Cultures of Islam 2021: Cultural Heritage is organized by the Munich Center for the Study of the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Central Asia at LMU) in collaboration with the Society of Friends of Islamic Art and Culture (Gesellschaft der Freunde Islamischer Kunst und Kultur e.V.) and the German-Turkish Association of Bavaria Deutsch-Türkische Gesellschaft Bayern e.V.).