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Developing an approach for conservation of abandoned rural settlements in Turkey [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. 2019; 16(1): 97-115 | DOI: 10.5505/itujfa.2019.48991  

Developing an approach for conservation of abandoned rural settlements in Turkey

Koray Güler1, Yegân Kâhya2
1Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul, Turkey
2Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

Following the industrial revolution, abandonment and decrease of population in rural areas are common problems that can be faced all around the world, as a result of various factors. As a consequence of implemented policies and radical changes in social life, nowadays large number of rural settlements in Turkey are also in the process of abandonment. However, many of these abandoned rural settlements have invaluable vernacular assets that bear the traces of past rural life and comprise the spirit of these cultural landscape areas. Although rural heritage in depopulated settlements have melted against the natural conditions by time, some settlements succeed to preserve their authenticity and integrity to a certain extent. On the other hand in some villages, which are more crowded and close to the city centers, authenticity and integrity values of traditional architectural heritage has been destroyed by human beings as a result of new construction pressures. This situation accompanies a big dilemma about conservation of traditional architectural heritage. This article aims to discuss reasons of depopulation in countryside, impacts of abandonment, pros and cons of re-evaluation alternatives for rural settlements and to develop proposals not only for preservation of rural architectural heritage in rural regions of Turkey, but also for revitalization and sustainability of livelihoods in there.

Keywords: Abandoned Rural Settlements, Rural Depopulation, Rural Architectural Heritage, Rural Landscape, Cultural Landscape

Koray Güler, Yegân Kâhya. Developing an approach for conservation of abandoned rural settlements in Turkey. ITU J Faculty Arch. 2019; 16(1): 97-115

Corresponding Author: Koray Güler, Türkiye

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