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13.30  Development of a Historic City Centre via Cultural Tourism: Hamamönü

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13:30, Tuesday 7 Jun 2016 (30 minutes)

Within the last decades, cultural tourism developed and became an important sector in the economic development of historic sites for the local authorities in Turkey. Although it has had some positive effects on the conservation of historic sites and development of these areas, tourism has had negative impacts on the conservation of the urban heritage and the depletion of traditional civic values in historic centres. In Turkey, changes and developments one the legal and intuitional levels started in the 2000s, which initiated some progress about new economic sources and authority given to local authorities. Hamamönü, located in the southern outskirts of Ankara Castle, composes an important part of the historic city centre of Ankara. The traditional house fabric, mainly dating back to the nineteenth and twentieth century, shows the characteristics of a typical historic Ankara house and the area witnessed all of the developments through all of the conservation and development plans prepared for Ankara and its historic pattern. Besides, in recent years, regulations of conservation related to local authorities has changed, which led to an increase in power of these authorities in conservation implementations. Hamamönü district has been affected by this changes and has undergone a remarkable transformation through the conservation implementations of Altındağ Municipality. Before the implementations, the area was seen as a subsidence area and began to be annihilated. 

Today, Hamamönü is on its way to becoming a cultural tourism centre, as the municipality aimed at and hosts great number of domestic and foreign tourists, which increase in number every year. In publications, on the website of the municipality and in the documents written by authorities, the vision of the municipality for Altindag is explained as a revitalization of its former glory days. In addition, with the interest of the people to the area after the implementations, the aim of making the area the new attraction point of Ankara in a couple of years wanted to be realized. Moreover, the mayor emphasizes the economic input and contribution of these functional transformations of the conservation studies and to local people. Although some dwellings in the area are still being used with their original function, many of the buildings were re-purposed as commercial buildings, which changed the environment remarkably. Thus the specific lifestyle in the district is dissolving every day. 

In this paper, a critical analysis will be made of the implementations in Hamamönü leading the transformation of the area from a subsidence zone to a touristic centre. Using a site analysis, the functional transformation, which is aiming economic income, will be assessed via the determination of physical interventions and its effects on the community. In light of collected data and related evaluations, the economic value of the traditional fabric, which is achieved via its re-purposing will be discussed through the case of Hamamönü.

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