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Sayı: 33 - Ekim 2012

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Architecture Historian, Doctrinaire and Critics Prof. Dr. Uğur TANYELİ: TURKEY MUST MAKE PEACE WITH STEEL …”

“We start to see the steel constructions almost since late 19. Century. First metal constructions were iron even in 18. and early 19.centuries, not steel.

“We start to see the steel constructions almost since late 19. Century. First metal constructions were iron even in 18. and early 19.centuries, not steel. The constructions built by the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe, for example the bridge in Coalbrookdale, England, built in 1770s, was a wrought iron construction. It may seem like something else when you look at from outside, but it is a wrought iron done by mechanical hammers, not by hand. When you take it from this point, Turkey cannot be counted as overdue about steel constructions. The use of iron in the country starts about in the middle of 15.century. It starts at the emperor period of Fatih, 1. Beyazıt, and Turkey had a distinctive tradition of use of iron in constructions until the arrival of the industrial iron to Turkey in the second half of 19. Century. We know that during the Gothic Age in Europe, even in the 13. Century, iron elements, tension bars were being used. You can’t see the same thing on the buildings at this geography in the 13. Century. You can’t see it at Anatolian Seljukian buildings. In 12.and 13. Centuries, you can see a small number of iron elements used in buildings within Byzantium in Istanbul. But Aigha Sophia has to be kept apart from this. Even in the first construction of it, in the 6. Century, some iron tension bars were used. You may see tension bars, arch tensions, vault tensions in all Ottoman buildings by the beginning of the 15. Century. What you can’t see are the bracings inside the building. All of these exist, but if what we are talking about is steel, as the use of steel has started short time ago in all around the World, we may say that it is also new in Turkey. But, I have to say that: The word “Delay” is not very meaningful in the context of history. Because on the contrary to popular belief, history is not a racing arena. But in general, we cannot deny the reality that we are behind the Western and the Middle Europe in technical areas. This is also the same in the field of steel area. That’s why, if you are looking for an early steel construction in Turkey, it means that we are talking about the situation faced in the last quarter of the 19. Century when the steel elements were imported from Europe. Here, we should not defraud the Ottoman or the predecessors in Turkey. We should not exploit the current situation to accuse the old generations by looking at the history. Countries those have started to use steel after we started have proceeded more than us. For example Japan, it has started to use iron in buildings at least five hundred years after than us, but now, one of the most brilliant steel sector is probably in Japan. I can say that even China has moved forward faster than us. We may even say that they had started to use steel recently.
Turkey can’t move on in same manner in the steel sector. Once upon a time, steel was a dream. During 1970s, 80s, hoping for steel constructions in Turkey was a dream. But today, it is not. Turkey may force this. Did a perfect workmanship occur in Turkey now? No, but this can be achieved by forcing, challenging the conditions. If you want to increase the workmanship quality you create challenging buildings. By creating unassuming buildings constantly, you just guarantee the stagnation of workmanship forever. Technical development means, challenging with the conditions you have. When the conditions in your hand are insufficient, you force. This is what technical development means. I think Turkey does not understand this basic paradox, and does not want to understand this very tensioned relationship with technology. If you struggle, and force the techniques to develop by your innovative advices, the level of workmanship rises, the quality increases, the quantity and quality of the material increase.”
Çelik Yapılar - Sayı: 33 - Ekim 2012

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