“My Story: SAHABIYE Neighborhood Oral History Project: Kayseri- Turkey”


Oral History Association 2016, California, Long Beach, United States Of America, 12 - 16 October 2016, pp.5

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: California, Long Beach
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Page Numbers: pp.5
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


“My story” is an ongoing neighborhood oral history project organized by KAYHAM (the Kayseri Memory Center) in Kayseri. It seeks to explore the SAHABIYE district by using the words of the community that lives here.

In this study/paper we aims to focus on the main question, which is: “How do its inhabitants describe the Sahabiye district as a place where they grew up –and where some of them still live- from 1960 to 1980?” We know that every region has its own particular/ original milieu, an aura. Thus, using the oral history approach highlights special differences in terms of life- experience which depends on the peculiarities of the region under study.

 “My story” is an ongoing neighborhood oral history project which is being conducted in Kayseri. It seeks to explore the Sahabiye district from a collection of oral testimonies gathered from the community.

Our aim is to compare the research data collected about the past experiences of the Sahabiye community, with previous related local research findings; this will be done both in terms of the inhabitants’ individual life courses, and also in relation to their memories about the localities where they grew up, and which are now vanishing due to the rapid changes occurring in the city. The Sahabiye district will be demolished as part of the city's urban renewal plan in two years.

This oral history project included twenty interviews. The long-term residents of twenty neighborhoods were interviewed. Participants were specially selected to represent different educational and socioeconomic groups. Life from the 1960s to the 1980s will be discussed through the testimonies of the long- term residents of twenty historically defined areas in the Sahabiye district. Topics will include local history, streets, houses and daily life from 1960 to 1980.

The project analyzes the potential benefits of oral histories for Sahabiye neighborhood planning; collecting such historical insights may become a productive part of neighborhood planning.

The final results will also be presented in an exhibition with case stories from community members, historical images and documents of the Sahabiye district which will be held at KAYHAM.


Keywords: Sahabiye District, Neighborhood Oral History, Neighborhood Planning in Kayseri Turkey.