THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT COMPREHENSIVE CITY«PLANNING IN THE ATATÜRK PERIOD: ANKARA Introduction Gönül TANKUT * In 1923, the population of Ankara was around ** The only densely populated area of the

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THE FIRST ATTEMPT AT COMPREHENSIVE CITY«PLANNING IN THE ATATÜRK PERIOD: ANKARA Introduction Gönül TANKUT * In 1923, the population of Ankara was around ** The only densely populated area of the city was the historical fortress and İts vicinity. Apart fronı this area, what are today called the Cebeci and Yenişehir districts were sparsely popula ted and there were some cottage houses' scattered on the slopes of Çankaya, Kavaklidere, and Dikmen. it seems the idea of a,«planned capital» did not take shape in the minds of the bureaucrats of the Republic at the time the Republic was declared and Ankara was selected to be the capital. A complete construction anarchy of the built environment reigned during the first five years after the declaration of the Republic. A haphazard, disorganized building policy devoid of aesthetic concerns threatened to destroy a capital yet unborn from the point of view of archi tecture. However, itmight be said that the idea of a «planned city» was new for the whole world,at the beginning of the twentieth century. That the whole of a city should grow under the control of a plan was an idea adopted under theexigencies of the Era of Industrialization in the second half of the nineteenth century. The new dimensions of city population.s created by industrialization, the new needs for servkes of urban life, and the new relations evolving İn the cities necessitated new urban patterns and * Prof. Dr. Gönül Tankut is a member of the Faculty of Architecture at -the Middle East Technica! University. ** On page six of his book Ankara Rehberi, Nurettin Can Gülekli estimates Ankara's population in 1923 to be from the wheat consumption ( tons). Another estimate, from twenty to twentyfive thous and, is made in an artiele entit1ed «Cumhuriyetin Bir Kaç Eseri» in the 23 June 1929 issue of the newspaper Hakimiyeti MiI1iye. 164 gaye rise to the need for «comprehensive planned development. When Ottonıan cities contell1poraneous with cities which evolved under Industrialization are studied, it is observed in thern, un like İn the latter, that the pre~industrial organic city~structurf is preserved, that the social relations remain unchanged, and that the traditional insufficiency in urban services continues. No drastic changes are observed in the rate of population-increase outside of İstanbul and son1e coastal cities. The «urban environment» inherited by the Turkish Republic İs, İn general, under-developed, static, and devoid of inner dynamics. As for Ankara, it was the most backward city in Anatolia according to the evaiuation of the journalist of the ne'\vspaper Tanin Gazetesi who toured Anatolia around the turn of the twentieth century. According to the same observer, the Constitutional Governnıent did not reach it and obviously will never reach ıt. In the period immediately after these observations were made, the neglect and pov,erty of the years to the First World War, and the malaria epidemics caused by the swamps surrounding Ankara worsened this city's condition. And when the big fire which broke out at this time destroyed the district of the minorities which was the only prosperous district in Ankara, the city assumed the aspect of an area of ruins....~ Such a burned-down place, covered with stones and ruins, and pest,ered by malaria, constituted in 1920 the urban decor for the Struggle for Independence. The Republic could rise in such an environment. But, a capital meeting modern needs was one of the conditions for its continuation. Consequent1y, the rea1ization that such a capital would not be achieved by a «la1ssez fme)) type of model of development ]ead to the adoption of the concept of «planned development.» ı. The Longing for a Planned Capital The housing shortage which made itself feh even during the Struggle for Independence and which became stronger after the dse of the Republic was the basic reason behind the longing for a «planned capital,» which was conceived as a magical key solving all problems. The housing problem in Ankara during its estabhshment can be studied from four points of view: a. Rapid İncrease of absolute housing shortage. 165 b. The stock of available houses \vhich were unusable on account of lack of comfort and architectural inadequades and thus the relative housing shortage. c. The stroctural and visual low standards of the new supply of houses. d. The macro-fornı ineffidendes İn residential areas on account of the haphazard and unplanned location of the hasthy built new houses. There were two factors which aggravated the first problem: the ever-rising rate of increase of the population, and, the fact that the city's center of gravity shifted away from the old settled areas towards its unsettled northern part. The old historical districts thus lost their utility vhile nevv construction remained limited on account of high costs of construction in the city and the high costs of credil 1 The cause of the second problem is that, although there vere available houses in Yenişehir, high rents were demanded for them, so that the incommodious and unhealthy houses in the Fortress vere rendered eompletely un usable by a rush of tenants. The eauses of the third problem are: the rise in the pric~s of construction materials during the construction season, the shortage of qualified labor in Ankara and the necessity to brlng such laborers from İstanbuL. There were other causes as \vell, which aggravated the third problem: for exan1ple, the group ltiost likely to be interested in real estate, consisting to a large extent of state en1ployees, had a shortagc of financial resourees for buying lots and for construction. 2 Beeause of these obstades, lo\v construction standards were inevi table. Many houses of lo\v aesthctie value were built later on because of impatience, a half-baked openness to innovations, and slavish imitation. The causes behind the fourth problem are the speculative real estate invıestments İn the outskirts of the dty occasioned by the sharp rises in priees. 3 ı Cemal Kutay, Mesken Meselesi, 1939, p Ibid., pp Ibid.] p. 40. 166 The urban environment these causes combined to produce between 1923 and 1928 failed to meet the standards from so many aspects that Ankara was, from the point of view of a foreign visitor and as \vritten by Yakup Kadri, «nothing but a parhament in the wilderness.» 4 1.ı. Ideological Concems In the opening speech to the Fourth Congress of the Repub lican People's Party, Must2fa Kemal makes the following concise description of the general nature of the Turkish reforms: a ruined country at the brink of the precipicc, bloocıy struggles against several enemies, a war that lasted for years... And then, a new state commanding respect within and abroad, and an unbroken chain of reforms to accomplish these. 5 The development of Ankara can be said to be one of the reforms 111ade in order to create the new country, society and state. This view will be expressed be]ow also throught the eva luations of foreign writers. Nelia Pavlova summarizes her view the center of Turkish patriotism.» 6 by saying: «... Ankara is The Austrian writer Norbert von Bischoff expresses his point of view as follows: The ideal of the Turkish reform is to build the new Turkish \vorld. When viewed from this point of view, the development of Ankarais areform, a courageous undertaking on the state level. The same author continues thus: while the walls of the Middle Ages are being demolished and theyare using their own manpower and resources to build the structure of the new era according to their own plans and to fit their own goals, theyare in a sense atoning for the neglect of several oenturies. 7 According to the French writer Benoist Mechin, Ankara İs not only a city but a masterpiecc of an act of faith. However, 4 Yakup Kadri, «Ankara Şehri» (a daily column), Hakimiyeti MDHye, Ankara, 1 June Mustafa Kemal, Opening Speech, The Fourth Congress of the Repub.;. lican People's Party, Ankara, Ulus Basımevi, p Nelia Pavlova, Au Pays du Ghazi, Paris, 1930, p Norbert von Bjschoff, Ankara: Türkiye'deki Yeni Oluşan Bir İzahı, Ankara, Ulus Basımevi, 1936, pp. 233, 227. 167 reaching this goal necessitated the use of more manpower and financial resources than the Ottoman State did for the whole of Anatolia during six hundred years. 8 Indeed, the largest portion of public expenditures between 1923 and 1938 was allotted for the construction and nationalization of railroads and for the development of Ankara. 9 The comple tion of Ankara's substructure, public works, construction and industry by the use of native resources only under the difficulties of the years of establishment İs a symbol of a new world view which commands admiration. 10 Because KemaHsm was a social reform which completely transformed Turkey, II because this society had now begun to dress, eat, drink and think like Europeans and was living according to their concept of life and civil law, it was impossible to prolong this mode of life İn a destitute and wretched Asİ'an atmosphere. It was essential to adopt from the beginning as a state goal the development of a modem city worthy of the pride of reformist generations at this desolate and barren spot İn Anatolia. 12 ı.2. The Image of a Capital During the first days of the Republic, members of two groups constituted Mustafa Kemal's close drcle and the first generation of intellectuals of the new state: those who left the military bureaucracy of the Committee of Union and Progress to join the struggle for independence, and the politidans of the same period who came to Ankara when İstanbul was invaded Bencist Mechin, Mustafa Kemal, Güvenli, Zahir and Rasim Özgen, trans.} İstanbul, Nurgök Matbaası, 1955, p Gülten Kazgan, «Türk Ekonomisinde Depresyonu Kapital Birikimi ve Örgütleşmeler», Atatürk Döneminin Ekonomik ve Toplumsal Sorunlan, İstanbul, Murat Matba acılık Şti., 1977, p. 25l, footnote Falih Rıfkı, «Ankara'nın Bayramı,}} Ankara (weekly French newpaper), Ankara, International Conciliatiorıs, Documents for the Year 1931, New York, 1931, p ıı Yakup Kadri, «Ankara Şehri» (daily column), Hakimiyeti Milliye, Ankara. 1 June l3 Metin Heper, Bürokratik Yönetim Geleneği, Ankara, Ongun Kardeşler Matbaası, 1974, p. 96. 168 These two groups lived in Ankara since the war years and longed for the day when this under-developed city with various problems would reach the standards of a Western city. The ideal model of a city which shaped this longing İs not clear. But it can be assumed that this first generatian of intellectuals was acquainted with some of the cities in the West - such as V.ienna, Budapest, Bucharest, Paris, Geneva, etc. it is alsa possible that, apart from these cities, a city \vithin the borders of the Ottornan State, Salonika, may have been their source of inspiration. Because internal and external factors caused trernendous changes in the structure of Salonika after the 1880's. The volume of trade and improvements in the cultural life reached irnportant dimensions. The architecture of modern buildings in the newlydeveloping districts, the wide and straight roads covered with cobblestones, and the trolleys used for public transportation were all signs of a modern city The Existing Situatıion A foreign visitor who came to Ankara in 1921 made the following observations: the old Ankara is in a green valley. The smali houses along narrow streets are in the Turkish style. The products of Anatolian hand-crafts are being said in the shop on the city's only large road. There is a well-organized garden in front of the National Assembly building and inns and restaurants near it. Won1en from Ankara \vork in the hospital outside city. The governınent's maving here increased the city's population. But no ne\\' houses have been built during the war years and many of the existing ones were 10st in the big fire. it thus becoıııes dear that therewas a heavy housing crisis in Ankara in As is understood fron1 the obs1ervations of the foreign visitor, the substructure and supıerstructure of Ankara were insuffident befüre the Republic. After this general evaluation, the basic facts tlbout Ankara in 1923 can be stated as follows: 14 Tevfik Çavdar, «Der Saadette Sabah Ezanlan ve Çağdaş Romanda Tasarım,» Yazım Dergisi, Year 1, Number 7, Ankara, Doruk Mat baacıhk Sanayii, pp Kadria Hussein, LeHres d'angora, la Sainte, Rome 1921, p. 82. a) Physical givens Problems The Kanlı Göl swamp area (widespread malaria). - The bumt square on the \Vestern skirt of the fortness - The neglected, health-hazard graveyard in the \ıvest of the old city. The generally desolate urban environment, the Iate period Ottoman houses years old. b) Socio - Dead economy Economic - Insufficient population givens Potentials - The railroad (reached Ankara in 1892). 16 a) Physical - \Nater system (was completed in 1890).17 givens - The vineyards in the vicinity and the houses in them. b) Social - The potential of public forces created by guilds, givens the Akhi organization and the Hacı Bayram Veli order The Creation of the Planned Capital The development history of Ankara during the Republic begins with t'vo unsuccessful attempts at planning. These are the «Heusslıer Plan» 19 in 1925 and the «Lörch Plan» 20 in Generally spcaking, there is unplanned development in the period between 1923 and There,vas an attempt at controlling the physical environment in which effort the city's prefecture was ineffective and which, in Falih Rıfkı's words in the Hakimiyet-i Miıııye, was enough to defeat all blindness out of pride and all attempts at demagogy.21 Furthermore, Ankara's first squatter, 16 Nurettin Can Gülekli. Ankara Rehbeıi, İstanbul, Pulhan Matbaası, 1949, p. ; Ernest Membour~], Ankara, Guide Touristique, Ankara, 1934, p İslam AnsikIopedisi, V. 1, Ankara, 1940, p LS Süreyya Aydemir, Tek Adam, V. 1, İstanbul, 1964, pp The 1941 TBMM Zabıt Ceridesi, Vs. 14 and IS, Ankara, TBMM Matbaası, 1976, p LO Ali Şen, Die Entwicklung der Wohngebiete der Stadt Ankara seit 1923 (Inaugural dissertation). Sa arbrücken, 1975, p Fa1ih Rıfkı, ({Plandan Sonra,» Hakimiyeti Milliye, Ankara, 3 June 1929. 170 neighborhood, the Atıf Bey district, came into being during these years. 22 The first of the plans mentioned above, the Heussler Plan, only stayed at the levej of ascertaining the existing situation of the fortress and its vicinltv. As for the second, the twin Lörch plans, the one for the was an insufficient one and the one for the area outside fortress V'TaS only a local plan for the area which is today called the Y.enişehir district. Both of these attempts at planning failed to channel properly the city's tendeney and ne ed to grow fast and on a large scale.,the low standards of illegal and haphazard construction attracted the attention of forıeign and native observers criticized mercilessly in the loeal press. 23 The result of all this was a search for sedous \vork on planning The Selection of the Plan and the Grand Jury When it was realized that the problems presented by Ankara's fast and large-scale urban growth could not be solved through loca:! and partial planning, the concepts of «Comprehensive Planning» and «International Contest» came together. Consequently, a limited contest was organized in 1927 and three city planners were invited to j oin. These three competitors were the Frenck architect L. Jausseley and the German architects Prof. '. Brix and Prof. H. Jansen. 24 The three competitors \vho came to Ankara in 1927 condueted loeal studies for three weeks and sent tneir plans to the city prefecture at the end of Although a committee of three was original1y formed to evaluate the plans, it is clear that this sman committıee was later expanded into a grand jury of twenty-six members.. 2S * 22,«Cumhuriyetin Birkaç Eseri, Ankara İmar İşleri,» Hakimiyeti MlIUye, Ankara, 23 JU,ne Falih Rıfkı, «Gündelik Makale,» Hakimiyeti 'Milliye, 10 May Fehmi Yavuz, Ankara'nın İman ve Şehireirliğimiz, Ankara, Güney Mat. baacılık ve Gazetecilik T.A.O.l, 1952, p Le Jury, Le Journal D'Oritmt, İstanbul, 16 May * For the full list of the members of the jury, see G. Tankut, «Jansen Planı.. Cumhuriyet Bürokrasisinin Kent Planlamasına YaklaşıIİiı,» Tarih İçinde Ankara, The Middle East Techniool University,. Ankara, 1982, in print. 171 There were' members of- parhament, municii'al employees, journalistş, and representatives'of pubec serv-ice organ1zations in it.' Fifty percent of its twenty six members were members of parliament. Almost all thes'e rtıembers from the parhament were more or lıess of the same age, all of them were university graduates, and a majority of them knew German and French~ In addition, two were born in Thraceand the rest İn Anatolia. 26 The evaluaii~n procedures of the three projects invited were carried out by-a sub-committee of sbc nominated by the grand jury from a~10ng its memhers and the decision was approved by the grand jury. The composition of this sub-committee was as follows: Engineer Mithat (member of parhament fromaydın) Engineer. Asaf (member of parhament from Bilecik) Journalist Falih Rıfkı(member of parhament from.bolu). Former Mayor of tzmir, Aziz (member of parhament from Erzurum) Engineer Ziya (pdvate sector) Engineer-architect Cemal (from the municipahty) 'EI Engineers form the bulk of the technical commission because they constitute two-thirds of it. This is reassuring from_ the point of. view of the proper reading and understanding of the plans. The fact that one of the remaining two members was a former employee of a municipal orgaıtization and that the other was an authorwho contjnuously discussed in pubhc the city's problems as aspokesman of the government also increases confidence in the committee's decision. Furthermore, the fact that all the members of the technical commission knew foreign languages is a positive factor because, on the one hand, it ensured the correct interpretation of both the written explanations in the projects, and, on the other hand ı of the planmng principles of the authors of the projects which stemmed from Western city-planning. 26.This -information hasbeen gathered from the book MüIkiye Tarihi, ve Mülkiyeliler, the album for the first -and' second term members of the Turkish Grand Natiortal Assembly, and the old annals of the _ provinces. 27 «Jiiri Heyeti Şehremanetinde Toplandı,» Haldmiyeti MitUye, Ankara, 16 May 1929. 172 According to the decision of the technical commission approved by the grand jury, H. Brix was not considered worthy of a prize on the basis that his project carefully preservıed the existing conditiün, did not open new areas of development, and emphasized physical substructure more than superstructure. 28 The jury deeided to give prizes tü the other two prüjects for conforming to the principles of modern city-planning. it gaye the second prize to J ausseley because his project was utopian and did not fit the realities of Ankara. it gaye the first prize to Jansen because the development plan he proposed was realistic and applicable. 29 Conclusion i t can be said that the twen ty-six-memıber jury fonned in 1929 of the Contest for the Development Plan.of Ankara could seleet the plan and author that would help create a modem city. Jansen's plan was the best plan not only İn the context.of that eontest; it preserved its status as the best plan als o when evaluabed later on in alarger framew.ork. The crıteria the jury used and its evaıuative proeedures in studying the plan appear to be very refined even when compared with what may be used and done today. Especially when the qualifications of the members of the jury are studied, it becomes clear that very careful work was done in forming the jury. As a result, the plan which best resolved Ankara's devıelopmental problems was selected. F
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