This volume is the result of an international conference held in June 2005 at the Karl-Franzens-University, Graz, within the framework of the FWF research project The Pera Society of Istanbul 1918/23 to date. Based on Pierre Nora’s play on words
milieu de mémoire and
lieu de mémoire, the historical development of Istanbul/Constantinople (Galata-Pera), in their function as
milieu de mémoire for transcultural societies is analyzed. Using individual case studies, documented by collected oral and video data as well as other illustrative material from this city, the volume focuses on the discontinuities (e.g. expulsion, expropriation,...) in the course of the 20th century, that is, on the transformation process from
lieu de mémoire, understood as the transformation into a fashionable memorial site for visitors. Both theoretical questions on cultural studies and oral history, questions concerning the musealization of historical heritage, memory storage concerns and most recent trends in pictorial turn are taken into account. All in all, the individual contributions may be seen as critical comments on Turkey’s attempt to align itself with the expectations of the European Union, and should help the reader to deeper understanding of the country’s history.