IJSSH 2014 Vol.4(5): 405-409 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2014.V4.387

Questioning the Paradoxes of “Other” Modernities: Uncovering Architecture in the Political Agenda of Iran and Turkey 1920-1940

Ezgi Yavuz and Baharak Tabibi
Abstract—During the early 1920s, Iran and Turkey underwent a rapid modernization process under Reza Shah and Atatürk. Opened a new era in modern Iran’s social, political and cultural histories, Reza Shah’s objectives were compared to his contemporary Atatürk’s in their inventory projects of modernization, centralization and nationalism. In this context, architecture as a “concrete” product of the states’ modernization process became an instrument to consolidate the leader’s political conduct. Through a comparative analysis of the Persian and Ottoman Empire’s transformations into modern states, this study gives an overview on the socio-political and cultural-political histories of the early 20th century Turkish and Iranian modernity. It argues that despite the parallelism in the political strategies of Reza Shah and Atatürk, modern architecture as an outcome of the political agenda, revealed differently in Iran and Turkey during this period. It is believed that, the paradoxes of “other” modernities in the case of Iran and Turkey were indeed not so much related with the Western canonic definition of modernity as it was with the states’ political ideologies. Questioning the paradoxical characteristics of modern architecture in the new established capitals, this research indicates the interaction between architecture and politics.

Index Terms—Architecture, modernization, modernity, politics.

Ezgi Yavuz is with the Middle East Technical University, Turkey (e-mail: ezgi_yavuz@yahoo.com).

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Cite: Ezgi Yavuz and Baharak Tabibi, " Questioning the Paradoxes of “Other” Modernities: Uncovering Architecture in the Political Agenda of Iran and Turkey 1920-1940," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 405-409, 2014.

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