in memory of

Doğan Kuban…

New Istanbul is not a city but an accidental agglomerate. Termites build similar cities. Undoubtedly, it is hundreds of times healthier and more functional.


That City Is Over

There were many cities in Turkey that needed to be conserved. Because our local architectural traditions are very rich. Even the smallest towns had unique architecture and urban fabric. In the past, material, population size, being on the trade route were decisive. Traditional craftsmanship established formal continuities. Since communication was very limited, it helped to preserve local characteristics, and change was very limited and slow.

If we preserved the textures of Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Diyarbakir, Mardin and Gaziantep, we would be the most colourful country in the world in terms of anthropology. Until the middle of the 20th century, everyone lived in their own region with their own culture. No communication, no literacy. The continuity of the way of life kept the architectural texture alive. An illiterate society engaged in agriculture, undeveloped in the field of technology, is the same everywhere. Aleppo, Damascus and Diyarbakir are the same. All the work of the people is animal husbandry, undeveloped agriculture and craft. All building traditions lived in this environment.

If we do not preserve Bursa while the Italians preserve Florence, it would be correct to consider this as an indicator of a backward civilization. We need the help of nature’s benefactors more and more.

August 2013, Istanbul