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Zeynep Kezer

“Engineering Eastern Turkey: People, Place, and Power in the Upper Euphrates”

Zeynep Kezer

Newcastle University, Garden and Landscape Studies Fellow

In her current project, Zeynep Kezer portrays the Turkish state’s efforts to bring the Upper Euphrates region within its fold and locals’ efforts to resist this process as a clash between fundamentally different ideologies of landscape. By foregrounding how geography facilitated or constrained both intervention and resistance, Zeynep seeks to demonstrate that controlling this historically unruly and impregnable region with a multiethnic and multifaith population hinged on dismantling indigenous practices of mapping, navigating, and inhabiting the landscape and thoroughly reconfiguring it with modern military and civic infrastructures.

Zeynep Kezer is a senior lecturer at Newcastle University. She is an architectural and urban historian with interdisciplinary interests in politics, cultural geography, and material culture. Her research focuses on how modern state-formation processes and nationalist ideologies play out in the built environment, informing everyday practices and identity formation. In addition to various articles and book chapters, she has authored The Making of Modern Turkey: State, Space and Ideology in the Early Republic (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015).