Modernity and Leisure: The Construction of Florya Beach in Istanbul (1935-1960)

Hamiloglu C.

JOURNAL OF URBAN HISTORY, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/00961442221089870
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF URBAN HISTORY
  • Keywords: Florya Beach, leisure architecture, modernist architecture, modernization, urban waterfront


The seashore can be a place where political authorities seek to achieve social progress by offering modern performative spaces for leisure and recreational activities. After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the display of healthy bodies became particularly important for making modernity visible, and for this reason parks, dance halls, sports facilities, and beaches were promoted to a wider audience for the display of bodies in motion. This article analyzes how Florya Beach in Istanbul was reconstructed as a modern urban area, through the beach's representations in popular media and architectural projects from 1935 until 1960. The article traces the reshaping of a part of the urban waterfront of Istanbul through the everyday life of the city's residents, representations of the beach, the myth created around Ataturk's summer residence, and the modernist architecture that embodied the state's aspirations to modernization and nation-state policies on the beach.