Urban conservation legacy of the Turkish planning system: tracing spatial change in the Ankara Acropolis, from 1923 onwards

Demiroz M., Şahin Güçhan N.

PLANNING PERSPECTIVES, vol.36, no.2, pp.337-362, 2021 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02665433.2020.1753102
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, American History and Life, Art Source, Avery, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Geobase, Historical Abstracts, ICONDA Bibliographic, Index Islamicus, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.337-362
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper examines the conservation history of the Ankara Acropolis, today named 'Haci-Bayram District', and the spatial change in this historic environment linked to the development of urban conservation since the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. We drew upon archival research such as old maps, aerial images, former analyses, technical plans and project reports, legal decisions by conservation boards and a field survey to illustrate the morphological change triggered by conservation attempts. Haci-Bayram District is a unique heritage site located in the old town of Ankara, the capital of Turkey, and has a symbolic square in which religious histories co-exist through the Augustus Temple and Haci-Bayram Veli Mosque on top of the city's ancient Acropolis. This historic district was one of the first in which urban conservation and development projects were implemented, during the construction of the modern Turkish capital, and has witnessed dramatic transformation, in the name of urban renewal. The findings of this study demonstrate an exceptional spatial representation of changing concepts of conservation in line with the Turkish planning system.