Planning Manuals as Tools for Modernization and Nation Building: The circulation of ideas through German-speaking architects and urban planners in Turkey, 1923-1950

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


In the early 20th century, the modern movement triggered the international circulation of knowledge through architects and urban planners. One mode of this dissemination was the invitation of French- and German-speaking architects and urban planners to build modern cities in foreign countries. A notable example was the case of Turkey. Between 1923 and 1950, a number of German-speaking architects and urban planners had considerable impact on the country’s built environment. During this period, German building manuals became tools for the dissemination of architectural ideas and consequently played a crucial role in modernization of the Turkish nation, founded in 1923. This paper investigates the function of the building manual in the process of nation building in the early republican period in Turkey. Through an analysis of key publications, including Camillo Sitte’s Der Städte-Bau nach seinen künstlerischen Grundsätzen; Reinhard Baumeister’s “Stadt-Erweiterungen in technischer, baupolizeilicher und wirthschaftlicher Beziehung”, Theodor Fischer’s Sechs Vorträge über Stadtbaukunst, the paper offers an analysis of the key figures and ideas involved in this process, and the relationship between architectural and political ideals that emerged through the manuals.
Period22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017
Event titleEAHN 2017 Conference "The Tools of the Architect"
Event typeConference
LocationDelft and Rotterdam, NetherlandsShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Turkish modernism
  • turkish modern architecture
  • manuals