Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Anna J. Secor


This study explores street musicians’ routines and associations with public space in Istanbul, Turkey between 2014 and 2016, a period which corresponds to a new, more conservative routine in the aftermath of a time of political contention in 2013. The study overall takes up a rhythmanalytical perspective, following the cultural geography’s interest based on Henri Lefebvre’s use of the term. I contribute to that interest by paying attention to changes in the composition of an urban public in Istanbul through a mix of institutional (e.g. bureaucratic, capitalist and religious) and corporeal (e.g. tourists, musicians, young people, audience, street maintenance, refugees, street figures) rhythms. Finding, documenting and questioning ‘sound’ as well as sound-making in the city mean to take both human and more-than-human components of public space to be of equal significance, whereas conceiving rhythms bring minor processes of bodies, sounds or affects to the foreground in shaping political engagement with space. It is shown that bodies in public, artistic expression and making music impulsively join the affective processes in the streets and squares, and, it is argued that these actively rotate the shared space in the city as much as actors who deal with authority, policing, violence and political strife around them do in an authoritative manner.

In an assemblage of people and sounds, performers’ motivations, anxieties, fears, hopes and notions of what constitutes public, the corporeality of everyday public spaces are noted. The affective processes of making music, practicing music in the several contexts, changes to performers’ rhythms, and the creation of new routines are studied. As street music in Istanbul has been situated in a hectic, sometimes violent environment in Istanbul during the research period, the authority of sounds other than street musician that shape, regulate and disrupt the flow of public are also considered in their reconfiguration of the political.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)