Sounds(s)like crowdsourcing the sounds of Istanbul – Booth 10

Pinar Yelmi, Koc University, Turkey

Sounds are integral parts of any urban environment, daily life and culture. Also, sounds are of great significance in terms of cultural heritage, as each city has a distinctive soundscape based on its topography and history. For example, Istanbul’s unique contemporary soundscape is shaped by soundmarks (sonic landmarks) such as the shrieking of seagulls, the call to prayer, the cries of street-vendors, and the tooting of ferries. As sonic culture changes over time, urban sounds need to be protected for cultural sustainability and for strengthening cultural memory. In order to preserve characteristic sounds of the city in the year 2015, we initiated The Soundscape of Istanbul project ( which aims to determine culturally most significant sounds of the city of Istanbul and to create a collection of sounds in Koç University Suna Kıraç Library Digital Collections ( However, preserving sonic culture in an archive is not enough for sustainability. It should be maintained within daily life since urban sounds are considered as intangible cultural heritage elements, and this is only possible by increasing public awareness of the significance of sonic environments. This idea leads to the Soundsslike project ( that mainly aims to draw people’s attention to urban sounds, to make them aware of their uniqueness and to create a platform in which anyone can share sounds in order to safeguard sonic cultural values.

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