IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Vol 2013, No 1303 (2013): The impact of a mega-event on city branding: The European Capital of Culture 2010 and the image of Istanbul


  • Evinc Dogan

    () (Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey & Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies, Faculty of Business and Management, Regent's University London, UK)

  • Ibrahim Sirkeci

    () (Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies, Faculty of Business and Management, Regent's University London, UK)


This study examines the ways in which the city image of Istanbul is re-created through the mega-events within the context of the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2010. Istanbul “took the stage” as one of the three ECoC cities (Essen for the Ruhr in Germany and Pécs in Hungary), where the urban spaces were projected as the theatre décor while residents and visitors became the spectators of the events. Organisers and agents of the ECoC 2010 seemed to rebrand Istanbul as a “world city” rather than a “European capital”. With a series of transnational connotations, this can be considered as part of an attempt to turn Istanbul to a global city. In this study we examine posters used during the ECoC 2010 to see whether this was evident in the promoted images of Istanbul. The research employs a hermeneutic approach in which representations, signs and language are the means of symbolic meaning, which is analysed through qualitative methods for the visual data (Visual Analysis Methods), namely Semiotics and Discourse Analysis. The analysed research material comes from a sample of posters released during the ECoC 2010 to promote 549 events throughout the year. Using stratified random sampling we have drawn 28 posters (5% of the total) reflecting the thematic groups of events in the ECoC 2010. Particular attention is also paid to the reflexivity of the researchers and researchers’ embeddedness to the object of research. The symbolic production and visual representation are therefore investigated firstly through the authoritative and historically constituted discourses in the making of Istanbul image and secondly through the orders of cultural consumption and mediatisation of culture through spectacular events. Hence enforcing a transnationalisation of the image of the city where the image appears to be almost stateless transcending the national boundaries. Findings and methodology used in this study can be useful in understanding similar cases and further research into the processes of city and place branding and image relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Evinc Dogan & Ibrahim Sirkeci, 2013. "Vol 2013, No 1303 (2013): The impact of a mega-event on city branding: The European Capital of Culture 2010 and the image of Istanbul," Border Crossing, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 3(3), pages 29-50, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:bcwpap:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:29-50

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ibrahim Sirkeci, 2013. "Transnational Marketing and Transnational Consumers," SpringerBriefs in Business, Springer, edition 127, number 978-3-642-36775-5, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mig:bcwpap:v:3:y:2013:i:3:p:29-50. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (TPLondon). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.