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SANAT TARIHI DERGISI-JOURNAL OF ART HISTORY, vol.29, no.2, pp.399-423, 2020 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.29135/std.634774
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Directory of Open Access Journals, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.399-423
  • Keywords: Ministry of Health Building, spatial transformation, architectural heritage, Early Republican Era, Theodor Jost
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


In the capital Ankara, the ministerial buildings are symbolic structures undertaking the representation of political power. Following the proclamation of the Republic, the construction process began and these buildings still exist in present-day Ankara. Some of the buildings have served the same function since their construction, while others have been transferred to different functions or evacuated. Within the scope of the research, the Ministry of Health, which was the first "modern" structure in the scholarly researches that were constructed during the Early Republican Era and focused on the period, is examined. Although the building of Ministry of Health is referred as the first modern building built during the Republican era, there is no detailed research on it in the present literature. The study aims to both draw attention to this situation and to discuss the current state of the building within the context of the conservation of Modern Architectural Heritage. In order to sustain cultural and historical memory, it is important to preserve modern architectural structures and transfer them to the future. This attitude is also important in understanding the cultural reflections of the political transformation and modernization efforts at the beginning of the 20th century. The Ministry of Health building designed by Austrian architect Theodor Jost, is the first example of international architecture in Turkey. Therefore, the building forms a part of our modern architectural heritage, both in terms of its style and the period it was built. The building, which was registered as an immovable cultural heritage in 1986, served the same function for a period of 90 years. The research is limited to this process in which the building is used by the Ministry of Health. In the scope of the research the existing interior space was evaluated together with the renovation projects of the building in 2009. Although the building is within the scope of conservation, the examinations have shown that the interior of the building has been completely renewed. At this point, it has been seen that the criteria for the protection of modern architectural heritage in our country are uncertain therefore international approaches have been referred. In these approaches, considering the cultural context in which the building is located, preserving the authenticity of the architectural heritage, protecting the integrity of the modern architectural heritage with all the elements that give it universal value come to the forefront as important criteria. Data on the building are examined under the titles of the environment of the structure, building mass and interior spaces within the framework of these criteria that come to the fore in international regulations and agreements. As a result of the examination, it was seen that the building was registered individually, despite the importance of its location in the city and the associated public spaces. During the restoration works, it was determined that the historical context in which the building was built was ignored and the original building elements and atmosphere of the building interior were not preserved, even though the original design qualities were preserved on the facades.