Mimar Kemaleddin


Diğer İsimler
Ahmed Kemaleddin (tam adı)

Architect (B. 1870, Üsküdar / Istanbul - D. 1927, Ankara). His full name was Ahmed Kemaleddin. His father was naval officer, Ali Bey. He went to İbrahîmağa primary school. When his father was on duty in Crete, he learnt Arabic and French there. In his return, he learnt French with private courses. He improved his Arabic with madrasah lessons. He studied at Şemsülmaarif ve Nümune-i Terakki schools. At that point, he started Engineering School which was newly-opened, and he graduated in 1891. Initially, he became the assistant of a German architect at the school. After having engaged in architecture and construction works for four years, he was sent to Germany by government to accomplish his education.  He studied in Germany for four and a half years. When he returned, he was assigned as a lecturer of architecture and construction in the Engineering School. He became the Chief Architect of former Serasker Administration (T.N. Presidency of General Staff) for a while. He was assigned as the Headmaster of Construction and Maintenance Department at Ministry of Foundations in 1908 and after that he was assigned as the Head of Technical Commission at Ankara General Directorate of Foundations. Thanks to his success in restoration of Mescidi Aksâ', he was elected to the membership of British Kingdom Institute of Architects. He analyzed Turkish and Muslim Works profoundly. He broke through in our last architecture art by combining old Turkish styles and new requirements on the buildings that he constructed.

Mimar Kemaleddin, leaving his mark on era and taking part in pioneer implementer of the First National Architecture Movement, maintained his effects on the people that he raised, and left a generation who worked for renovation of old works. Through the beginning of the XX Century, our architecture got into a different form, and foreign architects and architects of minorities totally had dominated the architecture act in Turkey. When evaluated under such conditions, the importance of the Mimar Kemaleddin and other contemporary Turkish architects clearly comes out.

Kemaleddin Bey realized various foundation houses, two foundation inns, and a primary school to which his name was given after his death in Yenişehir, in accordance with his job in the General Directorate of Foundations in 1926; additionally, upon the request of Ataturk, he designed a mosque, to be erected in Çankaya, which could respond to the modern needs. And on behalf of Ministry of Public Works, he started the design of the building of Turkey General Directorate of State Railways Station, which was planned to be built near the Ankara terminal. Veteran Primary and Secondary Teacher College that he designed on behalf of Ministry of Education in 1927 led to intense criticism due to the international style which began to be active in shaping the city in the same years. After the death of the architect, the 1st  National Architecture Period closed with this building completed in 1930 after which, international formatting understanding dominated under the thumb of foreign architecture teachers coming from abroad to Turkish architecture of the period.

With regards to architecture, the most productive period of Kemaleddin Bey was the ten years between 1909 and 1919. After Abdülhamit II was dethroned in 1909, with an attempt to modernization during which there were attempts to renovate and regulate all government agencies, chief architecture position (directorate) of construction and repair was established under the Ministry of Foundations and Kemaleddin Bey was assigned as the chief. The work to restore the most significant old buildings in Istanbul, which Kemaleddin Bey commenced as his first work, provided him with getting the information which helped to improve the national architecture understanding. Among these works lasting during the 2nd Constitutional Monarchy (1908-1918), besides big complexes like Sultanahmet, Fatih, Hagia Sophia, Yeni Mosques, there were the renovation of a number of small mosques and prayer rooms. On the other hand, in the ministry where the new constructions were designed to be realized with the purpose of increasing the income of foundations, in accordance with the suggestion of Kemaleddin Bey, personnel employed in the technical commission of Construction and Repair Department was enhanced with hired technicians of various specialties, therefore ensuring the function of this organization as a huge office of architecture and construction. This office, which could be named as the “Kemaleddin School”, enabled to raise a sequence of architects, engineers and master builders, who applied the national architecture understanding all around the country, thus technical commission of Construction and Repair Department at the Ministry of Foundations turned into the focus point of the 1st National Architecture movement. Kemaleddin Bey also struggled for foundation of an organization like today’s union of chamber of Architectures and Engineers and he took part in the organization called Ottoman Architectures and Engineers Community established in 1908. It is seen that the mentioned organization had 21 members at that date, of 11 architect members, just three of them were from the Turkish origin, and these were Kemaleddin Bey, Vedat Tek, and Halil Edhem Eldem Bey, the director of Âsar-ı Atika Museum. After one year of its foundation, the organization, which had 48 members, 15 of whom were architects, was ended at the end of the 1st World War must have been scattered in 1919. Among his compositions he realized in 1910-1911, which was his most productive period, there were seven big commercial buildings of belonging to the Foundations, Bebek (1913), Bostancı Kuloğlu (1913), and Bakırköy Kartaltepe (1923-1924) Mosques and Bostancı İbrahim Paşa, Ayazma and Eyüp Reşadiye primary schools. Five of foundation houses were built in Istanbul, and two of them were built in Ankara.

It is known that in the ears he designed schools, mosques, etc. in order to be performed in different cities of the country. Between 1913-1917, with the aim of satisfying the Arabs, who tended to break away from Ottomans, a good amount of designs by Kemaleddin Bey, who was assigned to prosperity attempted in Arabic provinces were not put into practice due to World War I, and some of the structures that he designed for Istanbul were left half finished. Of them, mosques in Yeşilköy and Bakırköy, the IV Foundation House (1916-1926) could only be accomplished in the first years after the declaration of Republic; the V Foundation House in Şehzadebaşı was opened, even if not totally completed, again in Republican period. And even lots of designs could not have been turned into a structure.


Bostancı Mosque and School in Istanbul, Ayazma School in Üsküdar, Girl’s High School in Çamlıca, Bebek and Bakırköy Mosques, Reşadiye School and Tomb in Eyüp, Yeşilköy Mosque, Tombs of Mahmut Şevket, Cevat, Ali Rıza and Hüsnü Paşa, Foundation Houses from number one to four, Harikzedegân apartments in Laleli, several madrasahs in vicinity of Sultanselim, former Medreset-ül-Kuzzat (currently used as the University Library), Primary School named after him in Yenişehir, Ankara; Atatürk Institute building in Ankara, Railways Directorate Building next to Ankara Train Station, Student Dormitory Building in Şehzadebaşı (not completed).

REFERENCE: Ahmet Refik Altınay / Türk Mimarları (1936),  İbrahim Alâeddin Gövsa / Türk Meşhurları (1946, s. 214), Suut Kemal Yetin / Türk Mimarisi (1970), Türkiye Ansiklopedisi (c. 3, s. 904-905, 1974), Metin Sözen / Cumhuriyet Dönemi Türk Mimarlığı (1984), Ana Britannica (c. 13, s. 164-165, 1987), M. Kadri Atabaş / Türk Mimarları (2000), İhsan Işık / Ünlü Sanatçılar (Türkiye Ünlüleri Ansiklopedisi, C. 5, 2013) - Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013).

The Fourth Vakıf Han (Eminönü)

Gureba Hospital, İstanbul 1914

Gureba Hospital, İstanbul 1914

Kamer Hatun Mosqie İstanbul 1911



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