1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
An esoteric commentary on the improvement of human–space interaction: City of Consent (A Perfect Society)Ali Ekber Gülersoy
As human-space relationships are increasingly questioned, it is inevitable that scholars will contribute to the pot of civilization. The study of spatial utopias is among many useful approaches toward this end. Many researchers have examined spatial utopias largely based on Western sources, whereas Anatolian and Islamic sources have been neglected. In this paper, the significance of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (83AH/702 CE–148AH/765 CE)’s Buyruk, which has an important place in the Alawi-Bektashi tradition, in the corpus of spatial utopias is elucidated. This qualitative study examined “Utopia of the City of Consent,” a section of the Buyruk that elaborates on human–space interaction. We argue that “City of Consent” was the first written prototype of a perfect society and serves as a striking example of an Islamic utopia. Approximately 750 years before Thomas More’s Utopia, Imam Jafar expressed a dream of a “perfect society without private property, classes, and an authoritarian sovereign powers; and earthly paradise where good morals was institutionalized was stated for the first time.” Buyruk aspires toward a balanced management of human–space relationships and a classless, non-exploitative, and conscientious human–space organization. It is necessary for parables such as the City of Consent to be included in secondary and higher education curricula, and we recommend geographers to consult such works for achieving a more holistic understanding of human–space relationships.