Linguistic Landscape of Istanbul: Possibilities and Prospects

Since the establishment of the term “linguistic landscape” by Landry & Bourhis in their groundbreaking study (1997), the field has developed swiftly. Empirical studies conducted in different regions and covering various languages and language combinations were complemented by publications centering on methodological aspects. The focus increasingly shifted from a mere “counting the languages” on signs to more comprehensive approaches, including sociolinguistic descriptions of the neighborhoods, interviews with the authors and recipients of these signs and others.

Studies focusing on Istanbul, other towns in the Republic of Turkey or Turkish-speaking regions elsewhere are rather rare and scattered, including information about on-going projects (see the references below). Thus, the planned workshop “Linguistic Landscape of Istanbul: Possibilities and Prospects”, conducted by İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi, Orient-Institut Istanbul and University of Potsdam, aims to:

  • bring together academics in the field of linguistic landscape studies who have worked on Istanbul, Turkey or Turkish-speaking regions,
  • stimulate discussions on methodological questions, such as the compilation of corpora,
  • help to identify common research questions and topics, thus enabling future joint research.

We are planning an in-person workshop in Istanbul between 24–25 February 2023 (details will follow in due time). A keynote speech will be delivered by Professor Florian Coulmas (Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany).

We invite abstract submissions for presentations (40 minutes presentation plus 20 minutes discussion) on any aspect related to the workshop topic. Your proposal should represent original work, published or unpublished. Please send your abstract (in pdf format, up to 500 words plus references) to Ruth Bartholomä ( by 30 September 2022. The selection of papers for presentation and notification of acceptance will be carried out until 31 October 2022. For practical reasons, the language of the conference is English. Presentations in Turkish are possible, but presenters must provide slides/handouts in English. Abstracts must be submitted in English.

Important dates

Closing date for abstract submission: 30 September 2022

Notifications of acceptance: 31 October 2022

Workshop dates: 24–25 February 2023

Please find the CfP as a pdf download here 



“A Mirror of Linguistic Diversity: Data Collection on Linguistic Landscape in Istanbul” (on-going project: Orient-Institut Istanbul & University of Potsdam; data collection in the neighborhoods of Kumkapı and Tarlabaşı).

Aygen, Gülşat. 2015. “Languages of Kapalıçarşı/The Grand Bazaar”. In: Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association 2/2, 401–419.

Balcı, Umut. 2011. „Schildertexte im Deutschen und Türkischen“. In: Muttersprache 3, 193–202.

Csató, Éva Ágnes/Bernt Brendemoen/Lars Johanson/Claudia Römer/Heidi Stein. 2010. “The Linguistic Landscape of Istanbul in the Seventeenth Century”. In: Paul J. J. Sinclair (ed.). The Urban Mind. Cultural and Environmental Dynamics. Uppsala: African and Comparative Archaeology Department of Archaeology and Ancient History Uppsala University, 415–439. (Studies in Global Achaeology, 15.)

Elia, Antonella. 2020. “Italianisms and Italian Sounding in the Business Language: The Case of Istanbul Linguistic Landscape”. In: RumeliDE Dil ve Edebiyat Araştırmaları Dergisi 18, 480–493.

İnal, Dilek/Yasemin Bayyurt/Münir Özturhan/Sezen Bektaş. 2021. “Multilingualism in the Linguistic Landscape of Istanbul”. In: World Englishes 40/2, 280–289.

Karadağ, Bilge Merve. 2021. “Bir Dilsel Çevre İncelemesi: Van’ın Merkez İpekyolu İlçesine Bağlı Cumhuriyet Caddesi”. In: Dilbilim Dergisi / The Journal of Linguistics 37, 25–44.

Landry, Rodrigue/Richard Y. Bourhis. 1997. “Linguistic Landscape and Ethnolinguistic Vitality. An Empirical Study”. In: Journal of Language and Social Psychology 16/1, 23–49.

Menz, Astrid. 2021. “Public and Private Signage in Turkey – Discourse and Regulations”. In: Ruth Bartholomä/Jens Peter Laut (edd.). The Turkish Language Reform and Beyond. A Never-Ending Story? Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 159–179. (Turcologica, 126.)

Seloni, Lisya/Yusuf Sarfati. 2017. “Linguistic Landscape of Gezi Park Protests in Turkey”. In: Journal of Language and Politics 16/6, 782–808.

Wendel, John. 2018. “Istanbul Past and Present: A Linguistic Landscape Perspective”. In: Hayrullah Kahya (ed.). Proceedings of IBAD 2018 – 3rd International Scientific Research Congress on Humanities and Social Sciences. İstanbul: IBAD Publishing, 106–116.