Evaluation of the Conservation of Modern Architectural Heritage through Ankara's Public Buildings


World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering-Architecture-Urban Planning Symposium (WMCAUS), Prague, Czech Republic, 12 - 16 June 2017, vol.245 identifier identifier


This paper evaluates the approach to the field of modern architecture in Turkey through the public buildings of Ankara. Although the conservation of modern architecture as cultural heritage has been accepted, to a limited degree, within related frameworks and disciplines, and within theory, the inconsistency in preservation legislations have been evaluated critically. The scope of conservation is limited to the state of being old and historical, thereby rendering modern architecture not worth conserving. This is valid for many countries, just like it is for Turkey. Despite various local interpretations of the mode of modern architecture that foresees mono-typing, the connotations of "culture" and the state of being a "product of the past," of the 20th century, are denied. The expanding and transforming characteristic of immovable cultural heritage is disregarded. As such, modern architecture in Turkey remains inadequately analyzed and documented within the framework of cultural heritage. The conservation of buildings dating back to the 20th century remains within the preference of the related Ministry. As the criteria for this preference is not determined, some public buildings that exemplify modern architecture are rapidly lost despite their being of the same style and period with other buildings designated for conservation. The threat of being torn down or destroyed due to aging functionally and physically renders the preservation of modern architecture products within the framework of cultural heritage, as well as the updating of the legal context according to new parameters, urgent and necessary. The sustenance of public buildings, which are not only products of modern architecture but also sources of the history of the city and architecture, and therefore the history of the Republic in Turkey and the modernization process, gains even more significance through its impact on the urban identity of the capital, Ankara. To this end, this paper focuses on the city of Ankara for its case study on the present status of sustaining modern architectural heritage.