Narrating the Discordant
Exhibition narratives produced on modernist architecture in Turkey

Thesis research / Institute of European Urbanism at Bauhaus University of Weimar

The current government’s spatial projects cause damage to modernist architecture sites which triggered various urban heritage conflicts in Turkey. Several buildings are already damaged or demolished. Modernist architecture continue to be targeted by the authorities while the dissonance expands on the wider contexts that modernist architecture symbolize.

Modernist architecture had a strong alliance with the Republican Period Turkish state’s ideology and its authoritarian characteristic especially during the nation-building period. The current dissonance over modernist architecture is reflecting the  ideological disagreements of the socio-political environment of Turkey that historically secularist and Islamist views polarized. As a result of polarization, the situation of heritage becoming more endangered and fragile. Especially in the last two decades, with the growing authoritarianism in the countries politics, many modernist architecture buildings are overlooked and neglected during the leadership of the Islamist liberal pole AKP.

There are various advocation practices for the preservation of modernist architecture in Turkey. The research is interested in potentials of micro heritage narratives produced by unofficial actors in these conflictual situations, particularly by the architecture research and exhibition practices. Research asks, to what extend different actor groups can use heritage narratives to negotiate for their values and perspectives in urban heritage conflicts? And more specificaly, what are the impulses and influences of architectural research and exhibition practices focused on modernist architecture in Turkey in relation to urban heritage conflicts?

For answering the questions, research invites prominent architects and curators, Aslıhan Demirtaş, Ali Cengizkan, Meriç Öner, Müge Cengizkan and Pelin Derviş, who conducted different archival and architectural research practices on modernist architecture and presented their research to public through exhibitions.

supervised by
Jun.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Daniela Zupan and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yıldız Salman (ITU)

interviewed with
Pelin Derviş,  25.12.2021
on Performing Modernity: Ataturk Cultural Centre

Aslıhan Demirrtaş, 28.12.2021
on Modern Essays 5: Graft

Meriç Öner, 12.02.2021
on on Modern Essays: Salon and Summer Homes: Claiming the Ccoast

Müge Cengizkan, Ali Cengizkan, 08.01.2022 on Bir Şehir Kurmak: Ankara