[P4888] Who Protects What! Actors of Conservation from Late Ottoman Empire to Republican Turkey

Created by Firuzan Melike Sumertas
Sunday, 11/19/17 1:00pm


This panel aims to discuss the actors of conservation of built environment spanning a century roughly from mid 19th to mid 20th ct. It aims to focus on their role on different phases of conservation of selected historic sites.

Conservation of built environment is a process that starts from the very basic but crucial questions of to preserve what, why and how. The process that begins through developing an ideological approach to a certain built environment continues through asking 'what' and 'why' and goes onto different methods of practical aspects through asking 'how'. Accordingly, papers in this panel will discuss both ideological and practical aspects of conservation. Rather than the sites however, it will focus on agencies of the actors and their networks. Through different positions, these actors (personas or institutions) have personified a significant approach and transformed the conventions of conservation as a process either through their writings or praxis and marked a turn.

Within this perspective first paper will focus on Alexander Paspates and Greek Literary Society and their role on the 'heritagization' of the Byzantine remnants in Istanbul. Through selected sites it will discuss their perspective towards these sites and the research and documentation projects developed as initial steps of conservation of those.

The second paper will focus on Mehmed Ziya (1866-1930) It aims at analyzing his role in the history of preservation of heritage in Turkey through his writings, conferences and organization of commemorations. The focus is particularly on his contribution to the popularization of the concept of Âsâr-? Atîka and its commemoration through its creators. For that purpose, the paper will further pursue the legacy of Mehmed Ziya in commemorations of Sinan and Ottoman architecture during early republican period.

The third paper will focus on Muhafaza-i Asar-? Atika Encümeni for the institutionalization of heritage conservation. The paper discusses the Council's role in recognizing which inherited remnants of Istanbul's diverse past are valued above the others and the conservation approaches and practices encouraged for their survival through its negotiations and confrontations with other state actors.

The fourth paper will focus on Tahsin Öz (1887-1973) deputy director of the Museum of Antiquities. It aims to introduce Öz and his controversial approaches to the conservation of monuments, particularly in Topkapi Palace Museum, and later focus on the atmosphere of heritage preservation in Turkey until 1950s with different voices from intellectuals and professionals supporting or disagreeing his decisions.





Ahmet A. Ersoy

(Bo?aziçi University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Chair; Discussant;

Firuzan Melike Sumertas

(Bogazici University / MEF University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Ahmet Sezgin

(MEF University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Burcu Selcen Coskun

(Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Pinar Aykac

(Columbia University - Italian Academy Fellow)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;