Author: Sennur AKANSEL
Publishing Date: 2004
Volume 19 Issue 1
Over a long history, the city of Edirne has been developing as an important settlement centre due to its geopolitical location. The importance of Edirne increased especially after it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire for a long period of time. It is a city of a peculiar character and identity with its many monuments and samples of civil architecture. Kaleiçi, as the first settlement nucleus of Edirne, has still many historic houses which could manage to survive, reflecting the social and cultural life of the city around the end of 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. This makes Kaleiçi even more important as a historic settlement unit shedding light onthe physical and socio-cultural structure and hence contributing to the further development of Edirne. During a detailed study of determination and documentation, there have been 214 historic house identified. There are a lot of similarities between the historic Kaleiçi houses and the traditional Turkish houses as they both have internal halls.It is key to include these houses in our daily life by renovating them to satisfy the needs of the contemporary life. This would also ensure that the cultural continuity is sustained and transferred to the next generations. Kaleiçi was consist of many historic houses until around mid 1970s but has started to lose its peculiar character and identity owing to construction of many multi-storey apartments as a result of wrong council decisions, applications serving to speculative purposes. Unconscious and indifferent approach against the historic houses and structures were theother causes of this tragic result. The purpose of the study that was made on Kaleiçi houses which weregenerally designed to serve the minorities in the community, was to research on the detailedcharacteristics and to provide data and a sort of design guide for the new structures to be built in thisarea. A particular endeavour was also made, during this study, to determine the details of design andfrontal structure of these historic houses.
Key Words: Traditional house; historic urban areas; cultural inheritance; Edirne-Kaleiçi.