Mimarlık. 420 | July - August 2021



As Environmental Policies Fail, How Will Green Policies Take the Center Stage? / Ümit Şahin

Every day reveals new incidents showing how short-term profit-oriented environmental policies -those approaching nature as an endless resource- can produce long-term results. The ecological massacre in the Sea of Marmara is one of the most devastating consequences of this wheel of profit. Drawing attention to the direct relationship between environmental policies and centralized politics, the author emphasizes that the way to change these policies is through political struggle: “The struggle for ecology is the struggle for democracy”.


Doruk Pamir: A Child and A Master / Suha Özkan

Doruk Pamir, member of the Chamber of Architects with the registration number 1962, passed away on May 26th, 2021. Born on April 30, 1938 in Istanbul, he pursued his education in the METU Faculty of Architecture between 1956 and 1960. Pamir received his master's degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Architecture and Planning, in 1961, and urban planning from Harvard University Graduate School of Design in 1962. He worked as a lecturer at the architecture departments of METU and Pennsylvania State University and won various awards in national and international competitions. Suha Özkan wrote a text in memoriam.


  • The İkizdere Resistance: A "Defensive Struggle for Habitat" in the Eastern Black Sea Region, the Most Complex Geography of Soil-Water-Plant Balance / Cihan Erdönmez

Yet another act of destruction has been added to the list in the Black Sea, and this time the project echoed on a national scale, voices being raised against it. The author, who presents and evaluates a quite comprehensive amount of quantitative data on the value of the region and the projects carried out within it, very clearly defines the parties involved in the resistance in İkizdere: “Citizens who try to protect their constitutional rights against the state that does not fulfill its constitutional duty.”

  • Writing Down Architecture: “The Silent Giant” Doğan Kuban / Nur Akın

Doğan Kuban, nominated by the Chamber of Architects within the scope of the International Union of Architects (UIA) 2021 Gold Medal and Prizes, was deemed worthy of the Jean Tschumi Prize for Architectural Writing. The author draws attention to Kuban's close relationship to the practice of writing, leading the way to his professional achievements.


  • The “Silent and Productive” Actor of the Architecture of Turkey: Nişan Yaubyan / Serhat Ulubay

The 2020-2022 Mimar Sinan Awarded Architects Programme of the National Architecture Exhibition and Awards was organized for Nişan Yaubyan, the winner of the Mimar Sinan Grand Prize. The author of this article, writing about the event that took place online on May 20, 2021, summarizes the main points from the panel that focused on the role played by the architecture of Yaubyan in the narrative of modern architecture in Turkey. The YouTube recording of the panel is available for consultation at https://bit.ly/2U9dXS4.

  • Multidimensional Approaches in Urban Form Research in Turkey: The 3rd Symposium on Urban Morphology / Ebru Şevik, Gökhan Okumuş, H. Eren Efeoğlu, Neris Parlak Temizel

The 3rd Symposium on Urban Morphology of Turkey’s Urban Morphology Research Network, which plays an important role in the proliferation and visibility of discussions on urban formation, was held in the past months. The symposium, which was held online this year due to the effect and 'contribution' of the pandemic, facilitated the interaction with interested parties from all around the world. For detailed information about the symposium and to access some of the sessions, you can visit the event's website: kentselmorfolojisempozyumu2021.wordpress.com

  • Women in Architectural Practice from Past to Present, a Joint Selection from Turkey and Germany / İrem Küreğibüyük

Based on the fact that the architectural profession is still considered a male-dominated field of work, the Goethe Institute has expanded the perspective with a selection from Turkey, based on the exhibition titled "FRAU ARCHITEKT - More than 100 Years of Women as Professional Architects" opened in 2017. The “Women Architects” exhibition, launched online on May 4, focuses on female architects and their work from both countries. The exhibition, which can be accessed online at https://bit.ly/2SdkNF6 can also be physically visited at the Istanbul Büyükkent Branch of the Chamber of Architects between June 3 - July 31, 2021.


A Story of Not Preserving / Not Being Able to Preserve: Monastery Churches in the Tao-Klarceti Region / Mustafa Tahir Ocak

In this chapter of Cultural Heritage in Danger, a series which began in our 405th issue, Mustafa Tahir Ocak wrote a piece on monastery churches.


  • A Brief Political History of Turkey’s Railways for Urban and Architectural Historiography / Neşe Gurallar
  • Railway Heritage: Archives and Traces of Stations / Şule Feza Sezginalp, Pınar Sezginalp
  • Conservation of Railways as Cultural Heritage Based on their traces on Social Life / Yonca Kösebay Erkan
  • The Haydarpaşa Station and the Process of Solidarity / Eyüp Muhcu
  • Nodes of Multi-Centered New World and Urban Network: High-Speed Railway System and YHT Stations / Zehra Zeren

In line with the decision taken on the 23rd of December 2020, the European Parliament and Council declared 2021 as the “European Year of Railways”. This decision is also one of the sub-action plans of a growth strategy titled "European Green Deal", which took effect on 11th December 2019. The European Green Deal, which aims to transform the European Union into a fair and prosperous society with efficient use of its resources as well as a competitive economy, intends to take a series of sub-actions to realize the goal of zero pollution and a non-toxic environment by 2050. To this end, a series of events will be held throughout 2021, organized by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, to draw more attention to railways as a sustainable, smart and safe means of transportation for a type of economic growth that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions. On this occasion, we decided to take a closer look at the transformations shaped by the railways within the physical and cultural geography of Turkey from the late Ottoman period to the present. Trains and railway networks, one of the most important inventions of the 19th century, triggered new experiences that shook individuals' perceptions of time-space and movement. Beyond the effects of this technical infrastructure of communication and transportation on individuals, urban transformations as an effective tool of modernization and new architectural typologies such as train stations and hotels have been decisive in the formation of the modern urban society of the transition period to the 20th century.

In her article, Neşe Gurallar examines in depth how this infrastructure transforms the superstructure. Following the traces of this transformation from the late Ottoman period to the present through the railway policies in Turkey, Gurallar also reveals how state policies have gained a spatial character.


By focusing on the railway architecture produced in Turkey from the 1850s to the 1950s, Şule Feza Sezginalp and Pınar Sezginalp show how railways, one of the most important tools of modernization as well as colonization and strengthening of the central government, produced typological solutions from the late Ottoman period to the early Republican period through the centuries-old adventure of station architecture.

Following the traces of railways on social life, Yonca Kösebay Erkan's article focuses on the physical effects of the train and railway network that shaped the history of industry, migration and settlement, as well as its profound effects on social life and memory through cultural artifacts such as literature and painting.

In his article, Eyüp Muhcu recalls the Haydarpaşa Train Station, one of the most extraordinary and pioneering examples of Ottoman railway architecture, its dysfunctional state due to current urban transformation processes, legal problems following the fire it underwent and long-standing conservation efforts. On behalf of Haydarpaşa Solidarity, he invites us to fight together to reclaim our urban heritage, of which railway structures form an important part.

Zehra Zeren focuses on the transformation of railway transportation, whose effectiveness has decreased with new policies since the 1950s, but gained importance since the end of the 20th century thanks to the inter-modal transportation systems. She brings light on how the ongoing High-Speed ​​Railway (YHT) project in Turkey has radically changed our current mobility habits, the transportation modes we currently use, the common railway architecture and our relationship with the city. She examines the architecture of the new transportation network that awaits us in the 21st century, turning to the first examples built in Turkey.

We hope that the articles in this file will provide new perspectives and insights into the nearly 200-years adventure of the railways, and the transformations it has brought and will bring on individuals, places and cities.

File Editors: T. Elvan Altan, Zeynep Eres, Deniz Güner


  • Monument for the 100th Anniversary of the 25th December Gaziantep’s Liberation and Landscaping National Project Competition

The competition organized by Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality and Chamber of Architects (Gaziantep Branch) has concluded recently. The aim of the competition was to find a design of a monument and its surroundings that would symbolize the martyrs and veterans on the land plot that neighbors the Panorama of Gaziantep Defense and Heroism (Panorama 25 Aralık) and the square next to it. In the competition (which was freelance, national and single-stage, 3 prizes and 5 honorable mentions were given.


“Side by Side and Joint Steps” in Participatory Processes from the Perspective of Professional Chambers / Arif Şentek, Yavuz Önen

In this issue, the section "Architecture-Democracy-Participation", initiated with the articles of Ruşen Keleş (issue 418) and İlhan Tekeli (issue 419), aimed at establishing a ground for critical dialogue, shifts its focus to professional organizations. Questioning an “internalized participation process” in the intersection of city and design, Arif Şentek draws attention to the absolute relationship of this subject to the political environment. Working for the benefit of society and the general public, experience the struggle for democracy under their roof with their structure, "which adopts the principle of protecting the rights of the professional environment, as well as providing society with a healthy living environment". Discussing actions that will strengthen this struggle through the lens of participation, Yavuz Önen emphasizes that we need "intellectual clarity, unity and solidarity against a ‘culture of vassals’ and those who are profit-oriented".


An ‘Ordinary’ Structure: the Government Office in Lapseki / Arbil Ötkünç, Savaş Ekinci

Nominated for the “Building Category Award” within the scope of the 2020 National Architecture Awards, the Lapseki Government House is a building that was chosen in 2014 within a pre-selected competition project and was completed and opened in 2018. Focusing on the extraordinariness of its ordinary look, the authors emphasize the originality of the building due to its "relationship with the place, the reflection of the urban-morphological critical approach to the architectural language and its form, which managed to disassociate itself from the state building typology".


Mimar Nejat Ersin / M. Haluk Zelef

The first monograph “Architect Nejat Ersin”, focusing on the architect Nejat Ersin and his architecture, was published with the joint cooperation of the Architects' Association 1927 and the Chamber of Architects and with the support of Lineadecor. To obtain the book -built on documents from the architect’s personal archive- you may contact the branches and representatives of the Architects’ Association 1927 and the Chamber of Architects.


Living / Keeping Alive the Movement of the Indigenous One / G. Doruk Atay

Pavilion Yap Constructo 8, implemented in 2019 by Constructo and sponsored by MoMA, stands out due to its use of cochayuyo algae, as it is built on the concept of creating volume by vertically hanging and stretching these algae. Dealing with the building, which acts as a living organism and provides an environment for visitors to have different experiences, the author emphasizes the fact that the structure that does not create environmental waste, even though today it does not continue existing.

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