The Role of the Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments within the Context of Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Türkiye
Mimari Mirası Koruma Çalışmalarında Bir Kurum
Keywords:Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments, archive, Topkapı Palace Museum, cultural heritage, history of architectural preservation
In the article, produced from the doctoral thesis titled “The Role of the Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments in the Context of Cultural Heritage Conservation in Türkiye” works of the institution in the field of preservation of cultural heritage are summarized. The study theoretically evaluates the selected monumental and civil architecture examples located in the provinces under the responsibility of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments from a preserving the cultural heritage in Türkiye and preservation principles point of view. For this purpose, preservation studies carried out over 44 years by the Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments were analyzed. By analysis, it has been possible to indicate the exact role of this institution in the history of preservation in Türkiye and to reveal the issues, approaches, and criteria in the protection and preservation of cultural heritage.
The main source of the doctoral study is the archive documents of the Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments. In particular, repair files are a guide to obtaining knowledge. While repair files are the major source of this study, it was additionally scanned some documents belonging to preservation studies in 1960-2004 can be listed as follows: tender files and other documents like bills of quantities and attachment books, specifications, contracts, analyses, progress payment reports, photographs, correspondences, documents, and approved projects. Archival files on in- and outside of Istanbul were examined generally. Preservation studies in Topkapı Palace were analyzed deeply in the doctoral thesis. Further, files were analyzed by analytical methodology, and chronological catalogs were created. Besides, all interventions were determined and fiches, which include the name of the work, the year it belongs, the manager and contractor of the work, and the name of crew members, were prepared in the work conducted based on structures. Adopted intervention methods, techniques, and approaches in preservation studies carried out in and outside of Istanbul and in the Topkapı Palace by the Institution were scrutinized under the guidance of the archive documents of the Institution. In addition, studies that assessed major works and other monuments and civil architecture examples located outside of Istanbul were generally discussed by the contributions of interviews, which were conducted with the persons who worked as a bureaucrat, administrators, museum directors, experts, architects, engineers, restorers, technician, contractor, painter, stonemason at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, General Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Museums and Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments in the researched period. Within the scope of this article, which is a summary of all this research, the studies in the responsibility areas of the Institution are mentioned in general.
This article will synthesize the takeaways from monumental and civil cultural heritage preservation studies carried out under the responsibility of the Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments in the years 1960-2004, and the findings will be discussed. Archive documents of the Istanbul Directorate of Surveying and Monuments were deeply examined, evaluated, and discussed for the first time. Evaluating the preservation studies carried out by the institution provided valuable data on transformational changes because of diverse reasons throughout history by documents on cultural heritage such as correspondences between institutions and repair records. Multidimensional analyzed studies and approaches will be unique data for future studies. The primary result of this study is about the place of the institution in the history of preservation in Türkiye. In this regard, this study showed that the institution took responsibility for reaching the cultural heritages from the past to the present by playing an active role with expert staff.