The emergence of Mediterraneanism discourse in modern Turkish architecture and the special position of Cengiz Bektaş
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This article focuses on the emergence of the discourse on Mediterraneanism in Turkish architecture of mid-20th century in relation to the precedent discussions and works by European and American architects from the earlier decades. The former attempts of the modernist architects from Mediterranean countries in associating Mediterranean vernacular cultures with modernism and their basic motives are briefly discussed in the first part of the article to be able to portray the difference of the Turkish case. The emergence of the discourse of Mediterraneanism in mid-century Turkish architectural milieus is then discussed through some articles in the prominent journals of the period, underlining its relationship with the development of mass-tourism. Cengiz Bektaş is presented as a distinct and significant figure within this context who made extensive studies on Mediterranean vernacular cultures of Anatolia and had an original approach to the issue. Following the legacy of the Blue Anatolianists, Bektaş sees the Anatolian geography as a holistic cultural landscape and its vernacular architectures as the main sources of inspiration for contemporary architects, rather than pragmatic tools to fuel tourism industry. The article displays how his truly regionalist and contextualist approach to the Mediterranean differs from earlier and contemporary discourses in Türkiye and stays closer to early 20th century precedents in Europe, through a reading of his original publications from the 1970s and later decades.