Istanbul(1936-1951) /Ataturk Reform in relation to the Master Planning of Istanbul.

Istanbul(1936-1951) /Ataturk Reform in relation to the Master Planning of Istanbul.
The first female MPs of the Turkish Parliament, © 1935 Turkish Parliament

In the Old Ottoman period, woman as a very low status when compared to men, in which women has no political rights nor rights to serve in political posts. When Ataturk establish the Republic of Turkey, he issues a series of reform, and the most significant one is the reform towards the right of women. The three main changes are the equality in voting rights, equality in marriage and equality in workplace. Policies like polygamy was made illegal and man and women can inherent equally. This significantly rise the status of woman in Istanbul, women staying at home requires higher standard of living, and this kind of society reform directly influence Henri Prost in designing the master planning for Istanbul.

The first female MPs of the Turkish Parliament, © 1935  Turkish Parliament
The first female MPs of the Turkish Parliament, © 1935 Turkish Parliament

 

What Henri Prost observed is upon the reform in the status of woman, the woman sought comfort and better living conditions in their homes. Therefore most of the upper-income class people are moving away from the Historic Peninsula in search of a new settlement area. Because they believe living in a new settlement area will be a kind of prestige. Therefore, the approach of Henri Prost will be to meet the new demand of the society and meet the new expectation of the people. Prost has modernize the historic fabric of Istanbul by issuing new transportation infrastructure and large green space. Modernization also include to rationale the streets and parceling so that they won’t be irregular and inharmonic again. With rising living standards, hygiene become an important element in dwellings. Therefore, Prost intended to develop dwellings that can provide the best physical and mental hygienic condition.

 

Prost’s approach in meeting the changing social needs not only help him to gain support from the people but also from the government of the Republic of Turkey, therefore in his later years he keep designing new modern urban settings in order to satisfy the need of the people.

 

Detail from the Galata-Pera Plan©1940 Istanbul Ataturk Library
Detail from the Galata-Pera Plan©1940 Istanbul Ataturk Library

Reference:

BILSEL ,C.(2010), “Les Transformations d’Istanbul”: Henri Prost’s planning of Istanbul (1936-1951), Ankara: Middle East Technical University Development of Architecture (ITU vol. 8, No. 1)

1 Comment on “Istanbul(1936-1951) /Ataturk Reform in relation to the Master Planning of Istanbul.

  1. It’s really interesting to see how the reform is connected with urban planning. In your article, the reform is clear that it is woman gaining better social status and profit. Woman is demanding higher standard of living now. In your last half part, you mentioned transportation, green space,the rationale of street, issues about hygiene, I would like to see more detailed elaboration of their connection, because for me right now, the link is still quite vague. Like what is the connection between woman gaining rights and the rationale of street?

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