The Association of Archaeologists in Turkey was founded in 1971 in Ankara under the name “Turkish Archaeologists Association.” It was closed after the 12 March coup, then once more after the 12 September coup, and re-opened in 1992 under the name of Association of Archaeology and Archaeologists, which took the name of Association of Archaeologists in 2005. Archaeologists from Istanbul had some initiatives of getting organized independent from Ankara. First example was the Association of Museologists that was founded in 1976 which abolished itself after the 12 September coup, not to be opened again. In 1992, a group of archaeologists who called themselves “Entrepreneur Archaeologists” came together to start organizing a professional chamber. Today, archaeologists from Istanbul and its surrounding region who were organized with the aim of protecting professional rights and cultural heritage, continue their struggle under the roof of the Istanbul Branch of Association of Archaeologists that was founded in 1995.
Today, the Association spends efforts towards carrying the accumulation of knowledge of the science of archaeology to our life spheres. It sees the protection of archaeological assets not as obstacles but an alliance of values that enriches our lives, tries hindering destruction, and influencing the social agenda based on those values.
The Association conducts debates about professional issues and protection policies with forums, and records its studies in the form of bulletins. It scrutinized relations between the daily life and archaeology in its program titled “Archaeology on Air” broadcasted in 2014-2015 at the Açık Radyo, with its guests. And since May 2016, the Association has been publishing an article series titled “Fallen off the Radar” at Toplumsal Tarih [Social History Magazine] that aims at putting overlooked cultural assets of Istanbul into the agenda; evoking invisible ruins of the city, hidden behind fences, forgotten in back yards of buildings, overshadowed by the monumental buildings of the city.