The Image of Mid-Twentieth Century Apartment Blocks in Turkey in Caricatures
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The apartment blocks became the dominant type of housing production in Turkey from the midtwentieth century onwards as a result of increased migration to cities and affected by the flat ownership law of 1965. The flat ownership law signals a transition not only from single-house to apartment block, or single-unit to multi-unit type of housing, but also from single ownership to multiple ownership. According to this new law, owning a single flat in an apartment became possible. The legal assurance provided by this law, which allowed owners of flats to receive title deeds individually, encouraged apartment construction. After this period, the housing production in cities underwent a complete transformation and the urban texture in the country changed with the dense apartment blocks in time. The contemporary transformation of social and economic context thus produced a new spatial arrangement together with this change in housing construction. This study examines the apartment type housing of the period, aiming to understand how this new type of dwellings was presented to the public in professional media and popular, non-professional media to discuss how it was evaluated by the people. Examining the popular presentation in comparison to the professional one, what is aimed in this study is to understand how this new type of dwellings was presented to the public and relatedly how they were evaluated by them. In order to do that, the visual representations of apartment type housing in the professional media and their caricatures in the popular media will be analysed and compared. Architectural history is mainly written by using professional documents directly related with the design of buildings and their architects, such as drawings, images, and writings of architects. Hence, historiography commonly focuses on the design of the building and how its architect designs it. Especially for the case of houses, the opinion of common people about them (not only those who live in certain types of houses but also the ones who could not afford them) is an issue generally not covered in the literature, which requires an analysis of sources beyond professional architectural documents. Therefore, in this study, representations of apartments in professional journals will be used to draw the general architectural framework of the period and their caricatures in popular media will be used to evaluate the reaction of the public to them.
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