Istanbul (1915-1922) / Urban Improvements of Istanbul & the rise of Ottoman Revivalism
Stepping from the monarchy of Ottoman Empire towards the Turkish republic, Istanbul experienced a growing pace of political reform in the 19th century. Nonetheless, the urban condition of Istanbul was still chaotic, over-crowded, poorly serviced and badly administered. Catastrophic fires occurred every few years and resulted in loss of thousands of timber buildings. The urban pattern of the city was majorly composed of narrow crooked streets and many of them were cul-de-sacs. On the other hand, there was a dramatic growth of population at that time due to the loss of territories of the Ottoman Empire. This put great pressure on the existing civil services especially the residential quarters. Hence, the residential fabric of the city was constantly rebuilt in order to accommodate the growth of inhabitants in the city.
Expansion of the Outter City
In response to the rapid expansion of the inner city, more and more military barracks and schools were constructed outside the city walls particularly in the Beyoglu district. This trend of outward expansion accelerated when the Sultan moved his Topkapi palace to the Dolmabahce Palace and mansions along the shore of the Bosphorus.
Emergence of Ottoman Revivalism
In the early twentieth century, one of the most notable developments was the emergence of Ottoman Revivalist architecture by two prominent Turkish architects, Vedat and Kemaleddin. Their architectural languages were greatly influenced by Ziya Gokalp, the founder of Turkish nationalism. In the dying years of the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Revivalism became the architectural style and enjoyed wide acceptance by the public citizens. A lot of public buildings such as post offices, ferry wharves and banks were built in this style. The Istanbul High School formerly the Ottoman Post Office was an example of the Ottoman Revivalist style. Some of the distinctive features of this architectural style included wide-roof overhangs, tiled ornamentations, muqarnas brackets and pointed arches.
Reference: Murat Gul and Trevor Howells (2013), Istanbul Architecture, Boorowa: The Watermark Press