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The Cemetry of Architects

The installation “Cemetry of architexcts” by Tayfun Serttaş ingraves the signature of architects of the late Ottoman empire to illustrate the loss of a cultural heritage, that got erased through the nationalism of the ideology of the republic. In the past years more and more writers, scientists and artists in Turkey are unveiling the impact of the minorities in the westernization prozess of the Ottoman Empire. Already in 2010 some signs were installed on buildings created bu mainly Armenian and Greek architects.

Architectural inscriptions, which could be read on the corners of buildings in Istanbul in the last quarter of the 19th century, show the rise of an individual architecture formed by the spirit of masters forming buildings in the contemporary sense of unique creativity.

As the empire entered a period of Westernization, the cultural rights provided by the rescript of Gülhane and the land cleared by the 1870 Pera fire opened up the path to the building of apartment buildings that was necessitated by the new life style; Istanbul’s urban identity is almost re-created with the eclectic style of architectural structures that arose from the synthesis of the European and the Ottoman in the short span of fifty years.


During January 31st – March 28th, Studio-X Istanbul hosts Tayfun Serttaş’s exhibition ‘Cemetery of Architects’ and the launch of his book ‘Trilogy of the Deserted City’.

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