Cities as Laboratories of Change

Religious Tourism in Eyüp. Constructions of an Islamic Place in Istanbul

Annegret Roelcke

The topic of the project is the contemporary development of religious tourism, inanç turizm, to the grave of the Prophet's Companion Abū Ayyūb al-Anşārī in the district of Eyüp in Istanbul. 
Being a main component of the narrative about the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul and former stage of the sword girding ceremonies of Ottoman sultans, grave and district still have a high symbolic value today. 
Starting from the assumption that mobility and references to places play an important part both for the production of a place understood as „Islamic“ and for its integration into an „Islamic geography“, recent measurements eg. by government institutions to enhance religious tourism as well as different forms of mobility in general to and within Eyüp will be analized and related to references by the actors themselves to Islamic concepts of mobility and space. 
The research will focus on inner-Islamic dynamics in processes of religious production of place, seen within the frame of broader contemporary developments of society, religion and space within and outside of Istanbul and Turkey.