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Title: Politics and architecture in Turkey (1923 – 1960)
Authors: Gazioglu, Eren
Keywords: Architecture
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Publisher: CEACT/UAL
Abstract: To objectively evaluate the manifestation of any kind of architecture in history, the necessity to consider context (as in politics, economy, and geography) is nowadays beyond question — in particular as regards the XX century, in which debates on expression and form in art and architecture were related ever more directly to political agendas. In addition, when it comes to certain countries that are often left out of mainstream textbooks on architectural history, the background of most readers tends to prove insufficient —if not misleading— in complementing the written accounts with pre-conceived general knowledge. Taking these in consideration, the main motivation behind the thesis in question was to create an account on the modern architectural heritage of the Republic of Turkey that would interweave architecture and politics in a way that wouldn’t leave the reader in the dark regarding contextual connections: natural and immediate for the author and for locals, but a mystery for anybody who’s new to the subject. In the particular case of Turkey, modernity began to manifest itself in the aftermath of the War of Independence (1919-1923) that put an end to the Ottoman Empire and founded the Republic on Turkey on secular grounds. While it was a colossal effort to rebuild a nation from the ground up, the circumstances of the post-war world and the approach of the WWII made it so that 27 years of single-party rule would follow, bringing about an everintensifying nationalist agenda as Turkey remained non-belligerent during T01 | EP11 | s2017 2 WWII. It was to end de jure only when the republican party in power lost in the elections of 1950, after which the economic policies of Turkey took a sharp turn towards liberalism. 10 years later, in 1960, a military coup turned the tables once again; Behruz Çinici (1932-2011), polemical yet influential architect from Istanbul, begins his professional life in such a moment. Throughout all these historical events (and other minor ones), architecture took a path as bumpy as that of politics, and this paper aims to address that complexity through a selection of major determinant events and dynamics, without taking any information for granted; and it does so by considering Behruz Çinici as a pivotal point between the “yesterday” and the “today” of the architecture of Turkey. In conclusion, this paper begins with a simplified historical and architectural version starting from 1923, and gradually —and naturally— intensifies in detail until 1960, the year of the first military coup in Turkey. At that point, it takes a step back to introduce the figure of Behruz Çinici, including his educational and cultural background: his life is analyzed by a subdivision in decades, as the architect himself suggested in various occasions.
Peer Reviewed: yes
ISSN: 2182-4339
Appears in Collections:ESTUDO PRÉVIO - ONZE [verão 2017]

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