Sites of modern rural life: agricultural complexes of the Early Republic in Antalya
Bölükbaş Dayı, Esin
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After the First World War, rural policies to include villages in the modernization process were adopted in many countries including the young Republican Turkey where the largest part of the population was living in rural lands. Adopting the rural-agricultural identity of the country and developing it not just in economics but also in cultural and social means as a part of the modernization project was one of the main policies of the era in Turkey. While the importance given to villages was being increased, research and development on agricultural facilities was another dominant policy of the early Republican period by considering the potentials of the country and observing the scientific developments in the world. Farms and institutes were established as the tools of modernization within this perspective. The main aims of the agricultural institutions were to determine the regional agricultural technics, to promote the use of agricultural machines, and to educate the society in the agricultural field. Institutions were established to analyse the regional differences in the country and to develop agricultural development plans. During the 1923-1938 period, Agricultural Schools were founded, many Seed Breeding and Experimental Stations (Tohum Islah ve Deneme İstasyonu) and farms were established around Turkey. In parallel, the Mediterranean coast of the country was chosen as the land for citrus production due to its climatic conditions. In Antalya, where agriculture had always been an important component in economic life, farms such as Bileydi Farm, Tugayoğlu Farm, and Waqf Farm; institutions such as Citrus Tree Station (Narenciye Fidanlığı) (1926) and Hot Climate Botanic Experimental Station (Sıcak İklim Nebatları Teksir ve Islah İstasyonu) (1937) had an active role in agricultural production and to guide local farmers with contemporary techniques. International developments in the agricultural field were followed, researches on tropical and subtropical plants were started. Besides citrus, various other agricultural products from wheat to banana, from rice plant to cotton were also analysed and introduced, and the possibility to produce these items in Antalya lands was discussed during the early Republican period. Agricultural projects of the early Republican period had the importance of being the spaces of mass education besides their productive and economic contribution to the new regime. On the other side, these complexes displayed the rational and functional characteristics of modern life while sustaining the agricultural tradition of the region. By creating multifunctional environments, the “new” life practices were experienced by the workers and their families which would also affect urban development afterwards. From this perspective, the paper aims to discuss the impacts of central policies on the local identity of Antalya by analysing the agricultural complexes as the interface between modernism and locality. Architectural features of the agricultural complexes built in Antalya in the early Republican period will be analysed, the impacts of agricultural complexes on the urban morphology and identity via site selection, construction and production processes and local responses to the newly introduced lifestyle will be discussed within the paper.