Ali Cengi̇zkan

Keywords: Ankara, Lörcher Plan, Early Republican Period, Capital, History

Abstract

The article offers a resume of the findings of research on the very firs contemporary city plan of Ankara, naming it as the "1924-25 Lörcher Plan" but focuses on the Plan Report dated 1924, revealed here for the first time. Before the declaration as the capital of the new state on 13 October 1923, the city of Ankara in central Anatolia had already tripled its population following 1920, i.e. during her pioneer role in the Turkish War of Independence. Foundation of a Capital City Municipality (Şehremaneti) and search for a new plan, were all attempts to solve housing problem resulting from the accelerated population rate. The full text of the plan report discussed in this article, proves that the plan was ordered in December 1923 by the Municipality of Ankara to the firm Turkish Society for survey and Construction Inc. (Societe Anonyme Turque d'Etudes et d'Entreprises Urbaines - Keşfiyat ve İnşa'at Türk Anonim Şirketi) in İstanbul; that the plan and its report were designed and prepared by Dr. Carl Christoph Lörcher from Charlottenburg (Berlin) and submitted to the Municipality on 30 May 1924 by the firm manager Heussler. Thus, the 80 years of speculative thinking and false historiography about the author, origin, function and results of the first plan prepared for the expansion of the city are eluded. Full elaboration on the report elucidates that, the report and accompanying plans hold several initial and modernizing values for Turkish urban planning. It proves to be the first tool in the implementation of "model cities"; the first city history of Ankara in the modern sense; the first attempt to achieve consensus on national city planning methods and processes; the first concrete consideration to attain meaning and symbolism in urban grounds; the first display of consistency of urban planning and design thinking; the first introduction of contemporary and avantguard city planning concepts; the first proposal for regulation of hierarchic and systematized set of open and green public spaces; the very first document in the construction of modern Ankara.