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Overview of Turkish Architecture

Posted by david on 18 February 2022
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There are some amazing different historical properties in Turkey.

Turkey is one of the only geographies that have hosted different cultures throughout history due to its geographical location, while at the same time acting as a bridge between Europe and Asia, and thus harbouring quite different cultural structures. In addition, each region of Turkey draws different profiles both in terms of geographical and climatic conditions and culturally, and this adds richness to Turkish culture in general.

Of course, in this geography, which is considered as a cradle where quite different civilizations come together, the richness of concepts such as lifestyle, art and architecture, which are formed and developed by culture, cannot be ignored. Especially when it comes to architectural construction, it is possible to encounter architectural structures that stand out with their different qualities all over Turkey.

Of course, when this is the case, it is not really possible to talk about a general Turkish architecture. It is possible to examine the architecture of Turkey, which differs both periodically and regionally, in different categories. Below, we include the analysis of architectural structures that are characteristic and prominent all over our country by categorizing them under different sub-headings.

First of all, let’s start by dividing Turkish architecture into three historical categories: Early Anatolian Turkish architecture, Ottoman architecture and Republican era Turkish architecture.

Early Anatolian Turkish architecture

In this period, when Muslims tried to create an Islamic architecture against the Byzantine architecture. It has been the scene of an effort to create a very large characteristic architecture in terms of civil, military and religious aspects. In this period, which can be interpreted as the formation of Anatolian Turkish architecture, a certain style was created by the builders from Iran, Azerbaijan and Syria, using local masters and traditional materials.

In the northern regions of Anatolia, constructions were made using wood and in the southern regions using stone materials. In other regions, mud brick structures have become widespread. Today, we can still follow the traces of these architectural structures in these regions. Of course, different functional structures such as mosques, masjids, zawiyah, tomb, madrasah, cupola, hammam and caravanserai determined the characteristic features of the main Turkish architecture, which stemmed from the dominance of Islamic architecture in the region.

Ottoman architecture

Ottoman architecture was influenced by the early Anatolian architecture, Byzantine architecture and Iranian architecture that existed in this geography. In this period, which revealed a unique style, a great development and richness in the field of architecture emerged. Since the Ottoman Empire was an empire that included quite different cultures, this multiculturalism was also reflected in architectural forms. The view that Ottoman architecture is essentially a synthesis of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern architectural traditions is a dominant view in the field of architecture. In Ottoman architecture, forms with inner courtyards, domed and centrally planned structures, high and magnificent buildings are in the foreground.

Republican era Turkish architecture

Influenced by Ottoman architecture, and later by German, Austrian and Swiss architectural movements, it finally found its own voice in the ten-year period from the 1940s to the 50s and became localized and rooted in the Second National Architectural Movement. The Faculty of Science and Letters buildings of Istanbul University and the Istanbul Palace of Justice, dated 1949, are the iconic architectural structures that reflect this period. The most important feature of the Turkish architecture that emerged in this period is that it gives importance to symmetry and has a monumental form. Çanakkale Martyrs Monument, which was built between 1954 and 1960, can be considered as one of the only representations that can summarize the Turkish architecture of the Republican Period in terms of form. Of course, Anıtkabir was built with the style of the period.

Architectural forms in today’s Turkey

With the effect of globalization; we can say that there is a universal architectural form not only in Turkey but also all over the world. For example, American-style wooden houses can now be seen all over the world by blending and localizing with different insulation features and equipment.

Of course, in addition to these, completely different contemporary forms emerge in big cities with the war of man to defeat nature by using the weapon of technology. In metropolitan cities, where skyscrapers and business centres are the leading roles, huge architectural structures with extremely high and extraordinary shapes emerge, and these structures mostly form the face of cities.

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