Izmir & Thessaloniki: from Empire to Nation-State

Episode 337


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During the late Ottoman period, the diverse and vibrant Aegean ports of Izmir (Smyrna) and Thessaloniki (Salonica) experienced rapid growth and transformation through the increased interconnection of the Mediterranean world and the rise of maritime trade. But in the tumultuous final decade of the Ottoman period, both cities witnessed political and demographic upheaval as well as outright destruction by fire. With Thessaloniki permanently incorporated into Greece and Izmir into the new Republic of Turkey in 1923, the two cities seemed destined to follow different paths. Yet as our guest Kalliopi Amygdalou explains, interesting comparisons and parallels between the development of Izmir and Thessaloniki endured even after they ceased to be part of a unified Ottoman polity. In this episode, we follow the story of urban and architectural transformation in Izmir and Thessaloniki after the decade of war between the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and the period that followed in the two cities under a transition from empire to nation-state.



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Episode Contents: 1. Fire and Reconstruction 0'00 - 9'12''
2. French Architects in the Near East 9'12''
3. On French Urbanism 11'43''
4. Memory and Nation Building in Thessaloniki 15'15''
5. Izmir and Kültürpark 16'50''
6. Back in the 'metropolis' 19'43''
7. The University of Ionia / Izmir Kız Lisesi 21'30''


Contributor Bios
Kalliopi Amygdalou is an architect and architectural historian, currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, working on the politicisation of architectural heritage in south-eastern Europe. She completed her doctoral studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture (U.C.L.) in 2014 with her thesis titled 'A Tale of Two Cities in Search of a New Identity: The Politics of Heritage and Modernisation in early 20th-century Izmir and Thessaloniki'. From 2015-2017 she taught at the Department of Architecture of Izmir Institute of Technology in Turkey.
Michael Talbot received his PhD from SOAS in 2013 for a thesis on Ottoman-British relations in the eighteenth century, and now lectures and researches on a range of topics in Ottoman history at the University of Greenwich in London.

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Credits


Episode No. 337
Release Date: 23 November 2017
Audio editing by Chris Gratien
Music: Harmandali - Recep Efendi, Cemal Efendi
Special thanks to Muhtelif for the use of "Ta Paidia & Lamma Bada"
Images and bibliography courtesy of Kalliopi Amygdalou


Images

The cleaning of Izmir Kültürpark after the fire. Source: APIKAM, Izmir
Thessaloniki's Aristotelous square on the waterfront. Photo by Kalliopi Amygdalou, 2010
Entrance of Izmir's Girls School (Kız Lisesi), previously the University of Ionia. Photo by Kalliopi Amygdalou, 2013

Select Bibliography

Amygdalou, Kalliopi, 'Building the Nation at the Crossroads of ‘East’ and ‘West’: Ernest Hébrard and Henri Prost in the Near East', Opticon1826 (16): 15, pp.1-19, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/opt.bv 

Bozdoğan, Sibel, 'Turkish Architecture between Ottomanism and Modernism, 1873-1931', in Ways to Modernity in Greece and Turkey: Encounters with Europe, 1850-1950, ed. by Frangoudaki, Anna and Keyder, Çağlar (London: Tauris & Co, 2007) pp.113-132 

Hautecoeur, Louis, 'Henri Prost à la Villa Medicis, 1902-1907', L'Oeuvre de Henri Prost - Architecture et Urbanisme, (Paris: Academie d'Architecture, 1960), pp.11-30 

Yerolympos, Alexandra, Urban Transformations in the Balkans (1820-1920) (Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 1996).

Comments

Sebnem Sanders said…
Interesting Podcast.I think the Çamlıca Mosque is a very dominant replica over Istanbul, with a political intention. So is the Topçu Kışlası proposal at Taksim Square, which at the moment is still a proposal. I'd rather have the park of my childhood stay there than the reconstruction of a place of mutiny which was knocked down. Taksim square of my childhood is now a huge block of concrete. It has no personality or warmth.
Kathryn Gauci said…
It is interesting to see how the different ideologies combine with international design ideas of the period.
Justin Morgan said…
An in-depth discussion of a very interesting topic, with timely and pertinent questions and references to current issues..great job by both presenter and guest.

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