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Reading Ottoman Architecture Through Modernist Lenses: Nationalist Historiography And The "New Architecture" In The Early Republic

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Chapter Summary

Histories of modern Turkish architecture typically start at the moment of stylistic rupture around 1930 when the Ottoman revivalist National Style of the previous decades was abandoned, and the educational, professional, and cultural framework of Turkish architecture was radically transformed along the precepts of an imported European modernism, the so-called New Architecture. This chapter examines the ways in which the German and Central European architects and other early republican authors sought to reconcile nationalist historiography with modernist practice. It focuses on their modernist agenda and discusses the implications of this modernist bias in republican historiography for republican architectural practice in general. Finally, the chapter suggests that in spite of their now-transparent ideological biases, these modernist texts contain certain complexities, ambiguities, and critical insights that have continuing relevance for current debates on Orientalism, nationalism, modernity, and identity in Turkey and the Middle East.

Keywords: Central European architects; early republican authors; European modernism; German architects; nationalist historiography; New Architecture; Orientalism; Ottoman architecture; republican historiography; Turkish architecture

10.1163/ej.9789004163201.i-310.33
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