VOL: 10 NO: 1  96-116  2013-1


Urban planning experience in Kayseri in the 1940s: 1945 Oelsner – Aru City Plan



Suat ÇABUK*, Kemal DEMİR**

*Karabuk University, Safranbolu Fethi Toker Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Karabuk, TURKEY
** Erciyes University, Faculty of Architecture, Kayseri, TURKEY


Received: April 2012             Final Acceptance: January 2013






Kayseri’s city plan, in the Post-Republican Period, demonstrates a typically modernized Anatolian city. Today Kayseri is considered as one of the most well organized cities in Turkey and reached its current spatial order as a result of five city plans (1933, 1945, 1975, 1986, 2006). The first city plan was prepared in 1933 by Burhanettin Çaylak and the second plan, approved in 1945, was prepared by the German architect and urban planner Gustav Oelsner and the Turkish architect and urban planner Kemal Ahmet Aru. The plan remained in use for 30 years and indisputably affected the arrangement of the city until it was replaced by the Yavuz Taşçı Plan in 1975; while in 1986 the Taşçı Plan was replaced by the Topaloğlu and Berksan Plan.

This paper will analyze the 1945 Oelsner - Aru City Plan experience for Kayseri. The aim of the study is to evaluate the planning discourse of Gustav Oelsner and Kemal Ahmet Aru over the Kayseri plan, which is considered to be amongst their most important works. Accordingly, this paper examines both the 1945 city plan and the “Report on Kayseri” which was written by Oelsner in 1944. The initial phase of the 1945 plan, the suggestions of the Oelsner Report, and its reflections on the city plan of Kayseri were studied.

It is worth noting that the Ministry of Public Works Urban Planning Science Committee (the central authority in Turkish urban planning) used the Kayseri city model, in the years 1936-45, for the planning process of more than sixty cities.

The year 2012 was announced as “Kemal Ahmet Aru Year” by UNESCO and it was included in the celebration program. Thus, the analysis of the Kayseri plan, which Aru described as “My first urban plan”, has a distinctive value in terms of Turkish urban planning history. The findings and conclusions of the present study are expected to shed light on unknown aspects of Kayseri’s urban planning and to correct misinformation about the Oelsner - Aru plan. Thus the study contributes to understanding of the planning approaches of Oelsner - Aru who prepared urban plans for many cities in Turkey.


Keywords:Urbanism, urban planning, urban growth, change, Kayseri, Kemal Ahmet Aru


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