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First Graduates of Village Institutes and Their Schools: Milas-Kapikiri Primary School [Megaron]
Megaron. 2020; 15(3): 384-398 | DOI: 10.14744/megaron.2020.15921  

First Graduates of Village Institutes and Their Schools: Milas-Kapikiri Primary School

Melek Zühre Sözeri Yıldırım1, Hüseyin Ökten2
1Department of Architecture, Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Faculty of Architecture, Muğla, Turkey
2Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University Muğla Vocational School, Muğla, Turkey

Village Institutes are one of the pioneer accomplishments regarding the ‘Modernity Project’ of Early Republican Period. With the legitimization of Institutes in 1940, students from the villages, after completing -the educational program in the Village Institutes, became primary school teachers. As soon as they returned to their villages, they constructed their own school buildings where they started teaching. However, these village schools, where the first graduates of the Institute taught, were closed down as a result of the abolition of multi-grade classes and the transition to transported education. Today, those Village Schools, reflections of the Republic’s ideology, are physically on the verge of collapse since they have not been utilized for the last 20 years. The fundamental notion of the current study is to highlight the fact that Village Schools, especially the ones built between 1940-1950, are one of the main indicators of the ‘Modernity Project’ of the Early Republic in the rural Anatolia. These structures, besides being the visual reflections of the educational policies of the newly-established Republic, bear the collective memory of the Early Republic and the principles of Village Institutes to the present. Therefore, this study aims to identify these schools before their demolition and to document how these simple school structures strongly acted upon the modernization process. Considering its relation to the Village Institutes, Kapıkırı School in Milas, evacuated in the 1999-2000 school year due to the abolition of the multi-grade classes was selected as the case in the current study. The underlying reason for such a selection is to indicate the fact that Kapıkırı Primary School has been one of the few intact examples where the first graduates of the Institutes taught. At the initial stage, nearly thirty village schools in the Milas district of Muğla were evaluated through settlement decisions and functions and structures were documented by measurements and photographs. In the second stage, structures identified were classified, and especially Gölyaka and Kıyıkışlacık schools, which are located in ancient settlements and have indications of similarity in plans, were compared with Kapıkırı School. In accordance with these stages, a detailed literature review was conducted in Arkitekt-Journal, which happens to be the main source of information in understanding the architectural approach of the period of 1940-1960. In addition, based on the local history, it has been understood that children of villages around the Kapıkırı attended Institutes to become primary school teachers. One of these students started teaching in Kapıkırı after his graduation as the first teacher of the village. He collaborated with the villagers, especially during the construction of the roof and wooden elements, by means of his special training as a ‘constructor’ in the Institute. The findings collected through the detailed architectural examination of Kapıkırı School and comparative readings in Arkitekt-Journal have proved the fact that Kapıkırı School was built in accordance with the first prize of Village Schools Competition Project. Upon research conducted, it was found that this school in a small village was designed by the famous architects Asım Mutlu and Ahsen Yapanar, the First Prize winners in the competition. In addition, literature review and oral history studies about the building process also shows that the school was directly associated with Institutes. The architects Ernst Egli, who travelled through Anatolia examining the various school buildings (1928-1930) and Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, who published a series of typologies of village schools (1938-1940), had also very similar proposals with Kapıkırı School. Asım Mutlu and Ahsen Yapanar completed their architectural education at the Fine Arts Academy and had direct associations with these architects. The research findings on the above-mentioned architects have made it possible to state that Kapıkırı primary school was not only related to the Early Republican ideologies but also European Influences. Consequently, this study which proceeds through the Kapıkırı School attempted to read the experience of the rural areas which were in contact with modernity, and the tension between the modernity project and the conservation paradigm. Based on the results of the current research, Kapıkırı School, located within a natural/archaeological protection site, revealed significant information regarding the preservation policies in Turkey, in terms of the decision of positioning, and transformation of the settlement. However, the main reason for this tension is due to the fact that the Kapıkırı School has been built in accordance with the first prize entry of one Architectural Competition Project pertaining to the 1940s and this feature of the building also makes it an artifact deserving preservation.

Keywords: Ahsen Yapanar, architecture in the republican period; Asım Mutlu; educational building; Kapıkırı; village institutes; village schools


Köy Enstitüleri’nin İlk Mezunları ve Onların Okulları: Milas-Kapıkırı İlkokulu

Melek Zühre Sözeri Yıldırım1, Hüseyin Ökten2
1Muğla Sıtkı Koçman Üniversitesi Mimarlık Fakültesi, Mimarlık Bölümü, Muğla
2Muğla Sıtkı Koçman Üniversitesi Muğla Meslek Yüksek Okulu, Muğla

Erken Cumhuriyet döneminin ve Köy Enstitüleri’nin kollektif belleğini bugüne taşıyan ilkokul yapıları “taşımalı eğitime” geçişin sonucu olarak boşaltılmıştır. Okulların birçoğu son 20 yıl içinde yıkılma noktasına gelmiştir. Bu okullardan biri 1999-2000 eğitim-öğretim yılında eğitim işlevini kaybeden Kapıkırı İlkokulu’dur. Komşu köylerden Köy Enstitüleri’ne katılan ve eğitim alan Kapıkırı’nın ilk öğretmeninin, Köy Enstitüleri’nin ilk mezunlarından biri olduğu bilinmektedir. Ayrıca, okulun kendine özgü mimarisi ve 1941 yılında sonuçlanan “Köy Okulları Proje Müsabakası” birincilik ödülü ile benzerlikleri Kapıkırı İlkokulu’nun araştırma alanı olarak seçilmesinin temel nedenleridir. Bu çalışmanın savı, köy okullarının, Erken Cumhuriyet döneminin Modernlik Projesi’nin kırsaldaki en önemli göstergeleri olduğudur. Kapıkırı İlkokulu’nun 1940’lı yıllara ait bir “tasarım yarışması” ürünü olma ihtimali, kendisini koruma nesnesine dönüştürecek önemli bir bilgidir. Doğal ve arkeolojik sit alanında bulunması nedeniyle okul; yerleşim yeri, inşaat süreci ve yerleşimin dönüşümü açısından Türkiye’deki koruma politikalarına ilişkin çok önemli bulgular taşımaktadır. Sonuç olarak bu çalışma, 1940’lı yılların sonlarında inşa edilen bir okul üzerinden “kırsalda modern ile temas” ve “modernlik projesi ile koruma paradigması arasındaki gerilimi” okumaya çalışmaktadır. Böylelikle, “köye eğitimin girişi” olarak sembolize edilen bu köy okulu, günümüzdeki koruma fikri açısından arkeolojik sit alanlarındaki yerleşimler için dönüştürücü bir rol oynayabilecektir.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Ahsen Yapanar, Asım Mutlu; eğitim binaları; erken Cumhuriyet dönemi mimarlığı; Kapıkırı; köy enstitüleri; köy okulları.


Melek Zühre Sözeri Yıldırım, Hüseyin Ökten. First Graduates of Village Institutes and Their Schools: Milas-Kapikiri Primary School. Megaron. 2020; 15(3): 384-398

Corresponding Author: Melek Zühre Sözeri Yıldırım, Türkiye


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