The Tunali Hilmi avenue, 1950s-1980s: the formation of a public place in Ankara

Resuloğlu, Çılga
In this study, the socio-spatial formation of a public place in Ankara, the capital city of the Turkish Republic, is analyzed between the 1950s and the 1980s. Within this framework, the focus of analysis is the Tunalı Hilmi Avenue (earlier Özdemir Street) as one of the main streets in Ankara. To understand experiences of daily life in relation to spatial constitution of a public place is vital for this study, because this opens the way for discussing the formation of a “street” as a public place where social forms and practices come into being in the city. Focusing on the socio-spatial experiences of people on a street as a public place, this study uses visual and written documents about the architectural and planning processes, as well as the information gathered from oral history survey about the experiences of individuals, in order to understand how public life and public place are shaped in a reciprocal manner, and how the spatial formation of a street is realized in relation to daily experiences of its inhabitants. The decades from the foundation of the Turkish Republic until the late-1950s are initially presented as the period when this part of the city transformed from a suburb of vineyards into a residential area. The main period of analysis in this study is from the late 1950s to the late 1980s when the Tunalı Hilmi Avenue was formed as a significant public place in Ankara, acquiring residential as well as cultural, recreational and commercial functions to act as an urban sub-center in the city. Aiming to produce a comprehensive architectural history of the socio-spatial formation of the Tunalı Hilmi Avenue as a public place, with reference to its public role in a specific period of time, this study examines this process as associated with the contemporary changes in the built environment and daily life of Ankara. From such a broad perspective, the study evaluates the unplanned formation of the Avenue as an urban sub-center not only as an urban or architectural entity but also as a social process.