Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Istanbul & Philadelphia

Why is Istanbul, Turkey history considered cosmopolitan?

Istanbul has always been a major metropolis dating back centuries. It was a major city along the trade route between Europe and the Middle East. In a way, it's cosmopolitan because of it's status as a major cultural center throughout history. According to the reading "Street of Memory" by Amy Mills, Istanbul was a place with cosmopolitan identity because in the past, cultures blended, and where a variety of races and religions were able to live in coalition with each other. For instance, Istanbul's people can speak a variety of languages. Some of the cultures and religions that blended she mentions are Muslims, Christians, Jews, Ottomans, and Europeans. She quotes Roel Meijer saying Istanbul was "open undefined territory..."
However, according to Streets of Memory, Istanbul has lost some it's cosmopolitan character due to "urbanization." She mentions how chain stores have kicked out small business owners, and the increase of private televisions within a household have had an impact on the sociocultural life outside. On the other hand, Istanbul will always have it's space that still has the old cosmopolitan history. It just depends on the individual who views that space. For instance, if I were to go visit Istanbul, I probably would notice the ancient architecture and streets. But if someone were to grow up there, they are probably used to the space and do not notice as much.

Why is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's history considered democratic? 

The idea of a democratic republic was born and was practiced for years in Philadelphia. The founding fathers all sat in Independence hall for several days voting and coming to terms and agreements on the natural rights of individuals and states by coming to a grand consensus on breaking all ties away from England. Philadelphia also demostrated it's democratic chops which is more important than the signing of the declaration of independence was when the Constitution was birthed here. Our republic needed help and once again the founders proved that a democratic method to passing legislation proved to help the rights of individuals.  They sought to change a system of disunion, to the republic as we have it today. This city's is covered in democracy history and you can see it through the public space. Public monuments such as the Liberty Bell, statues in honor of those men who have signed those important documents throughout the city's landscape, the National Constitution Center.

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