Based on extensive field research in Turkey, Istanbul, Christopher Houston
's new book Istanbul, City of the Fearless: Urban Activism, Coup D’Etat, and Memory in Turkey
(University of California Press, 2020) explores social movements and the broader practices of civil society in Istanbul in the critical years before and after the 1980 military coup, the defining event in the neoliberal reengineering of the city. Bringing together developments in anthropology, urban studies, cultural geography, and social theory, Christopher Houston offers new insights into the meaning and study of urban violence, military rule, activism and spatial tactics, relations between political factions and ideologies, and political memory and commemoration. This book is both a social history and an anthropological study, investigating how activist practices and the coup not only contributed to the globalization of Istanbul beginning in the 1980s but also exerted their force and influence into the future.
Robert Elliott is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History, Duke University