The Search for Identity: 1st National Architecture Movement
 


TURKISH ARCHITECTURE IN THE REPUBLICAN PERIOD   The Search for Identity: 1st National Architecture Movement

The trend towards nationalism that followed the proclamation in 1908 of the 2nd Constitution brought about new research in architecture. In Turkish architecture, the period known as Neoclassic Turkish Style or a National Renaissance in Architecture, which began at this time, was headed by the architects Kemalettin Bey and Vedat Bey. Later, during the Seventies, this style became known as the First National Style. This new form of architecture tended to use a great number of the decorative features found in classic Ottoman architecture

Efforts were made through a revival of classic Turkish architecture in the buildings of this period to create an architectural Renaissance or Turkish national architecture. During this revival, Islamic nations began to secede one by one from Ottoman rule and as a result, in the face of Pan- Islamism the movement towards Pan-Turkism , that is, the creation of the concept of nationhood began. In architecture, this trend towards so-called nationalist style was more an attempt to implement the use of the wide eaves, domes, pointed arches, pillars, overhangs, triangular stalactite-like capitals (mukarnas) and tiled facing found in the old religious buildings. This style was predominately used in public works and did not really affect residential-building.

The pioneers of this movement, the architects Kemalettin Bey and Vedat Bey, tried to rid architecture in Turkay of foreign influences and choose local styles Their efforts had a great effect on building, not only in the last period of the Ottoman Empire but also during the first years of the Republic..The concept of Turkish nationhood, begun by Ziya Gökalp'and supported by the government, helped to keep this movement alive during the first years of the Republic. In fact, the road thus followed was not in harmony with the bold and forward-looking spirit of the young, dynamic republic..Reforms were made in every field : in architecture attempts were made to create a new kind of architecture which, in place of the Islamic-Ottoman features used during the previous period, would this time use details from Seljuk-Ottoman architecture.. These attempts may be interpreted as a return to classic Ottoman architecture. Two other architects who had a close relationship with the two styles of architecture we have detailed above, and who took part in this movement, were Arif Hikmet (Koyunoglu) Bey and the Italian, Giulio Mongeri.

The architect Kemalettin designed, the th Vakıf Han in Bostancı and the Bebek Mosque as well as the Kemer Hatun Mosquei in Tarlabaşı, the tomb of Mehmet Vth, and that of Mahmut Şevket Paşa at Hürriyet Tepesi in Şişli, as well as the Tayyare.Apartment Building in Laleli (today the Merit Antik Hotel)in Istanbul, and ,in Ankara, the Station Complex and the Gazi Teachers' institute.(Gazi Terbiye Enstitüsü)..

The most important works of the architect Vedat are the Grand Post-Office building ın Sirkeci, today's Maritime Administration Building in Karaköy, his own house in Nisantasi, the boat station at Haydarpaşa and Ankara Palas in Ankara, which was begun but not finished by him. .

Arif Hikmet Bey built the [[010027 Ankara Türk Ocagi ) (today the National Museum of Art and Sculpture ,1927-30) with the [[010022 Etnographical Museum ] (1925-28) and the fomer Foreign Ministry building, while Mongeri was responsible for the Ulus Ziraat Bank Headquarters in Ankara (1926) , the Ottoman Bank (1926), Iş Bank (1928) and the Monopolies Headquarters (Inhisarlar Başmüdürlügü) (1928).

The First National Architecture could not keep pace with new technology or meet the requirements of the new age so remained a movement which in style was remote, selective, sensitive, formalized and academic
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First General Assembly Building 1915 Ulus- Ankara Architectural Design: Hafi Bey



Photo:Dogan Hasol
Second General Assembly Building (People's Party Club Building) 1924 Ulus- Ankara Architectural Design: Vedat Tek

Photo:Dogan Hasol
Second General Assembly Building Ground Floor Plan























Source: Inci Aslanoglu, "Erken Cumhuriyet Donemi Mimarligi." (Ministry of Culture Archives)
Ankara Palas (Vakif Hotel) 1924- 1927 Ulus- Ankara Architectural Design: Vedat Tek and Kemaleddin Bey

Photo:Dogan Hasol
Ankara Palas Ground Floor Plan







Source: Inci Aslanoglu, "Erken Cumhuriyet Donemi Mimarligi."
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