A crave for historical touch is standing out in public architecture for the last 15 years. They are imitations of unknown inspirational sources as a result of significant ideological passion adopted by the authorities. For some reason, it is called “Seljukian”. Especially seen in city halls and courthouses, this approach has become the subject of a light humour in both national and international architectural circles with some satirical expressions. The poor copies of the Kremlin or Topkapı Palace by the private sector results in hurting Turkey’s representation on a global scale. As a result of the mentioned postmodern longing, these buildings are hurtfully “kitsch”.
The architectural style, crowned by “Amanrüya”, the original design by Turgut Cansever developed and completed by Emine and Mehmet Öğün is perhaps the best example of Mediterranean regionalism. The construction of touristic and social projects by Cengiz Bektaş are the initial accomplishments of this approach. The history of Mediterranean regionalism goes back to “Club Mediterrane (Kemer – Antalya)” in the 1970’s, when Tuncay Çavdar employed it masterfully. The works of Çavdar, Bektaş and Cansever are points of reference in our present architecture when the geographic and cultural context for the future generations. Indeed, it is not a coincidence that the four buildings of the two mentioned architects have received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
Another success story of the private sector is the hotel “Cappadocia’s Argos”, in Uçhisar with leading vision and persistent demeanor of Gökşin Ilıcalı and Aslı Özbay (İdil), an incredible investment, that involves careful design, conservation and adaptive re-use. It has become a significant magnet for tourism for its architectural qualities. By all means, it proves how precious and moreover how attractive is to apply architecture for conserving authenticity of history and real environment, instead of creating fictional false ones.