ANKARA / CAPITAL OF THE MODERN TURKEY
and ITS CONSERVATION
Mehmet TUNÇER 
I. SHORT HISTORY OF THE CITY
Turkey’s history dates back to the Prehistoric Age. Some cave sites like
Karain in Antalya Region dates back to the Upper Palaeolithic Age.
Çatalhöyük Site (6500-6550 BC) is the oldest Neolithic Town, lies 50 km south of Konya, a region was closely connected by trade with the Middle East.
The first settlement in Troy, on the other hand is presumed to Homer’s Troy and dates back to 300 B.C. The first Empire was that of the Hittites, 1750-1200 B.C.
They ruled an empire from the Black Sea to Palestine. Their capital Hattusas (now called Boğazköy) lies 200 km to the north-east of Ankara the Capital of Modern Turkey. Also nearby is the Hittite City of Alacahöyük and the holy place Yazılıkaya. During the Hittite period, there were also other states in Anatolia. In the East and south-east lay Mitanni Kingdom and in the south lived the Luwians. Having been a Phrygian City in the 8th century B.C., Ankara has then been the Capital of Galatia between 2nd century B.C. and 25 B.C.
Having fallen under the domination of the Roman Empire in 25 B.C., Ankara has experienced its most prosperous period in the following years thanks to its role as the representative of the said Empire in Anatolia. In this period, Ankara has acquired the quality of being an important intersection point of Roman roads, a fact which led to a great development in the administrative, military and commercial activities with the population having reached as high a level as 100 000.
Ankara has been conquered by Turks in 1073 to remain then under the Turkish rule forever. After having been under the sway of the Byzantine Empire between 334 B.C. and 1073 prior to the foundation of the Ottoman Anatolian Union.
The fact that Ankara was one of the Ahi Centres played an important role in the development of it’s commercial functions.
A certain part of the total of 30 Caravanserais in the city has been build in this period, being located around the great mosques. In the development period of the Ottoman Empire, the further momentum with the soft wool (sof) , a special product of the city, having acquired a global reputation. The construction of “Bedesten” s (a kind of bazaar where wool, antiques and jewellery are sold) and great Caravanserais (inns) falls on the 14th and 15th centuries.
In response to the rise in population, the city centre has also begun to expand and such new commercial districts as Tahtakale and Karaoğlan around Suluhan have flourished. In the first years of the 17th century, a third city wall has been built as a means of protection against Celali outbreaks (Figure 1).
Figure 1. ANKARA IN 1711 DATED GRAVURE (V.VINCKE)
In the 18th and 19th centuries the commercials and economic viability of the Mediterranean Countries. The Ottoman Empire and Anatolia has undergone a sharp recession due to the shift of the main trade routes to the oceans and the development of the west. Being unable to compete with the modern textile industry, the economy of Ankara has entered a stage of full depression towards the end of the 19th century which has further been aggravated by the fact that the soft wool (sof), the special product of the city, has also been produced in other countries (Figure 2).
Figure 2. ANKARA IN AN OLD PAINTING (SOF PRODUCTION SCENERY IN THE RIGHT PART)
The advent of railway in 1892 has created an atmosphere of relative vitality and the boulevards named Station and Talat Pasha have been constructed which connect the Railway Station to the old city and the Ulus (Taşhan) Center began to prosper at the same period concomitant with all other developments.
II. ANKARA AS THE CAPITAL
Following its proclamation as the capital of Turkey on 13th of October, 1923, Ankara has entered a stage of planned growth and development.
The Law Numbered 583 which has been passed subsequent to the proclamation of the City as the Capital, has envisaged and provided for the extension of new Ankara in the area between the historic town and the district called Çankaya, prohibiting demolition of the historical buildings in and around the traditional old quarter. Thanks to this firm resolution brought by the said law, the traditional structure of the historical sites of Ankara could have been preserved more or less.
The “Sihhiye Plan” (New Town/Yenisehir) prepared by Heussler in 1927, and the Urban Plan realised by German Prof. Hermann Jansen in 1928 as a result of an international competition represent two important steps in the planned development process of Ankara (Figure 3). Jansen has placed a special emphasis on the conservation of the “traditional structure” by designating the historical urban site as the “Protocol Area”. He has also made certain plan decisions as regards the historical site (Figure 4).
Figure 3. HERMANN JANSENS’ PLAN OF ANKARA (1932)
Further arrangements related with the historical site of Ankara have been enforced in the reconstruction plan of Nihat Yücel and Rasit Uybadin who have won the plan competition in Ankara has turned into a metropolitan area in 1970’s with a 16 fold and a 46 fold increase in its population and expansion area, respectively. Due to the stunningly high rate of urbanisation, 60 percent of the city has developed out of the planned area, while the historical sites have undergone a relatively lower degree of change as a particular section of the metropolis.
Figure 4. OLD ANKARA IN H. JANSEN PLAN
III. THE CONSERVATION PROJECTS
III.1. THE CONSERVATION PROJECT OF THE CITADEL OF ANKARA
During Roman Period (25 B.C.), Ankara has experienced its most prosperous period, acquired the quality of being an important intersection point of Roman Roads, a fact which lead to a great development in the administrative, military and commercial activities with the population having reached as high a level as 100 000.
During the Roman Era, Ankara was covering the hill and the plains on the west of the fortress. The place of the Citadel possibly was a Capitol. The city maintained its importance during the early days of the Byzantine Empire. After the 7th century, the city suffered the threat of Sasanis and the Arabs and was forced to return inside the fortress.
The outer (Dış Kale) and Inner (İç Kale) fortresses which are noticable today have have been built toward this aim and the remains of monumental buildings pertaining to the Roman Eras have been used for the construction.
Later during the 8th Century the city was occupied by Harun Reşid’s army. Ankara has been conquered by Turks in 1073 after having been under the sway of the Byzantine Empire between 334 BC and 1073.
The Citadel has taken its present form during Byzantine and Turkish principalities period. The Inner Part of the Citadel was still being used as settlement since that times. According to the 1522 dated recording,
III.1.2. The Conservation Plan of Ankara Citadel
“The Conservation, Rehabilitation and Development Plan of The Citadel” aimed to preserve historical site with its own characteristics (Figure 5). The Conservation Plan consist of following aspects:
a. TRADITIONAL PRODUCTION AND SELLING AREAS:
In the “Ankara Citadel Cultur, Turism and Commercial Center”, there will be traditional production and selling units (shops) on the main pedestrian roads, such as “Kalekapısı, Doyran Street and around squares such as Ramazan Şemsettin Mosque Square and Alaeddin Mosque Square”. These shops will be in the ground level old traditional houses which supposed to be restore and so in some innercourts (Avlus).
The traditional crafts are following:
· The traditional Angora Goat’s wool (sof),
· Angora cloths, textile, woven tissues,
· Angora cikriks (spinning-wheels),
· Turkish carpets, woving mattings (kilim) production exhibition and selling units,
· Wicker works, rush mat production shops, selling units,
· Woodworks, handicrafts,
· Traditional Turkish copper, silver and gold ornament and jewelery shops etc.
In this area, some traditional artworks which has to be nearly disappear, planned to educate and give rise again by culture and tourism.
b. DAILY COMMERCIAL AREAS:
This areas serving to daily needs (drink, foods, refreshments etc) of the visitors and persons hosted in the hotels and pensions in the Citadel.
c. RECREATION AND ACCOMODATION AREAS:
Due to culture and tourism functions; restaurants which traditional Turkish Cuisine and foods are present, hotels and pensions which traditional host will be exhibit in the Citadel.
· Hotels and pensions,
· Restaurants (Turkish cuisine, Ankara foods),
· Special cuisine’s (tandir, döner, sis, lavas etc),
· Cafes (Turkish Cafes), pubs.
d. CULTURAL AREAS:
These are ;
· Old Ankara House Museum,
· History of Ankara Museum,
· War of Ankara Museum,
· Social Centers (Library, dia show, places),
· Art Galleries (painting, sculpture, music, open show areas),
IMPLEMENTATION PHASES OF THE CONSERVATION PLAN :
Up today, the scales of (1/5000, 1/1000, 1/500) Conservation Plan has been completed. From now; 1/200 and upper scales (1/100, 1/50,...1/1) implementation projects will be designed. And the infrastructure (water, electricity and sewage etc) and landscape projects will be completed. After that, both Municipality and house owners will be gathered to implement the project.
Figure 5. ANKARA INNER CITADEL CONSERVATION PLAN (1994)
1. KELEŞ, R. 1971, “ A City Typology In Old Ankara”, S. B. F. Pub.
2. TUNÇER, M., 1990, “How is the Conservation Works In Ankara. What Ought to Be Done ? ”, PLANNING REVIEW, Number 90 / 3-4.
3. TUNÇER, M., 1984, 21-23 June, Ankara, Paper Presented to the SEMINAR on “URBAN CONSERVATION PLANNING”, arranged by ICOMOS- Ministry of Culture and Tourism - METU Faculty of Architecture : “Implementation Problems of Urban Conservation Planning: Some Proposals Case: ANKARA”
4. TUNÇER, M., 1985, 22 -26 April, Istanbul, Paper Presented to the ”THE CONFERENCE ON THE PRESERVATION OF ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE OF ISLAMIC CITIES”, Arab Towns Organization - Arab Urban Development Institute (ATO/AUDI) and Union of Municipalities of Marmara Region (UMMR) and Greater İstanbul Municipality : Paper presented and project exhibition opened on about “Ankara Traditional Urban Fabric Conservation and Development Planning Works.
5. TUNÇER, M., 1995, 15-16 April : Istanbul, Mimar Sinan University, Faculty of Architecture, Department of City and Regional Planning, “3. URBAN CONSERVATION AND RENEWAL IMPLEMENTATIONS COLLOQUIUM”, paper presented on about “Contemporary Battles of The Citadel of Ankara”, Mimar Sinan, University, İstanbul.
6. JANSEN, H., 1937. , “ Ankara İmar Planı ”, Plan Raporu, Alaeddin Kıral Basımevi, İst.
7. “Old Ankara Conservation and Development Project”, Project Report, 1979, Prepared By: Beţbaţ, N., Güneţ, A., Özcan, Z., Tayla, L., Tırpan, A.
8. “Ulus Historical Commercial Center Urban Planning Competition”, Competition Booklet, 1986, Ankara Greater Municipality.
9. "Ankara Citadel Conservation and Development Project Competition” , Competition Booklet, 1987, Altındağ Municipality.
 Ass. Prof. in Urban Conservation, Fac. Of Arch., Dep. Urban & Regional Planning, Gazi University, Ankara, TURKEY.