The story of Turkey’s experience of transition from a traditional system to a modern contemporary society
Editorial of 2A Magazine issue 30- Ahmad Zohadi

All the countries with great historical and cultural background face the challenge of transition from traditional settings and system of living into todays modern and contemporary style, without neglecting or destroying the traditional values and landmarks. Turkey has been remarkably successful in achieving this goal, where we can see the emergence of many modern buildings and structures, without undermining or destroying its rich and unique heritage.

The free and open environment and space in Turkey has made it possible for the co-existence of both eastern Islamic culture and Modern western culture in a peaceful and organic manner. In such an environment the habitants have a choice of picking any style of living that they like without feeling guilty of neglecting the other side. Because both of them are accepted and respected.

Since Turkey is adjacent to Europe, building modern and western structures are not considered as being a totally imported style which may be considered as threatening to the local eastern architecture. Hence the architects could freely design beautiful structures without interference. Unlike other ancient Asian societies, which had to be reactive and resistant to western style of architecture , Turkish architects did not have this limitation, therefore One can observe both traditional eastern styles , and modern settings in Turkey specially in Istanbul. Turkey has successfully included both ancient and modern styles in a harmonious manner.

Urban Planning and Tourism

Turkey has intelligently realized the importance of tourism for country’s economic development and prosperity. Hence they have directed their urban planning in a way that is most pleasant, suitable and comfortable for tourisms. This special attention and consideration to tourism has lead the city to be developed in such a way that it will be attractive for both eastern and western tourists, and at the same time be functional for the domestic population.

Realizing the high potential for tourism, the city and its businesses have adopted the international attitude which can be clearly observed in their structures and behaviors as well. The urban settings have gradually transformed in such a way, that it is attractive and pleasant for international visitors. And this approach and viewpoint has created a very comfortable, happy, vibrant and colorful urban environment.

All aspects are used to make the cities more attractive, for instance in Istanbul they have used its beautiful Bogaz area, to make all sorts of restaurants, cafes, shops, parks and other entertainment facilities which has made it to become one of the most beautiful and touristic areas in the world. Even the Mosques and other religious centers such as “Sancaklar Mosque ” was built in such a way to not only be used for worship but also to accommodate and promote tourism. It has become one of the major tourist attraction in Istanbul.

Turkish authorities have a great vision for future of tourism as well. Realizing this treasure, they are in the process of building the largest airport in the world in Istanbul which is capable of receiving with 150 million passengers annually. Turkey, being the crossing point between Europe and Asia has a very unique and important strategic position in the world. It is where many cultures, traditions and religions meet and blend. Hence it has become one of the richest and diversified societies. Thus, we decided to dedicate one issue to this amazing country.

I would like to also use this opportunity to inform all of our colleagues and correspondents about 2A magazine’s newest activity which is currently involved with. We are organizing The ” Asia Architecture Award. “

2A magazine has been actively involved in introduction and promotion of architects and their projects around various parts of Asia, specially in the middle east region. However, through this event, 2A magazine is aiming to create a broader forum for Asian architects to interact, share and compete in a totally friendly but professional manner. Asia which is the largest continent with ancient, diverse, regionally specific and unique cultural heritage, can be considered as the richest source for architectural projects for both traditional and modern styles. Despite this significance, Asia had not received its deserved attention that is why 2A, as an Asian International magazine decided to help to divert the attention of the world architects toward Asia, and promote Asian architects and their projects.

The Istanbul based ” Asia Architecture Award ” which is intended to act as an architectural foundation in Asia will present:

– Theoretical visions in terms of culture, political views, economy, history, customs and other social factors

– Ideas from various origins
– Conceptualizations
– The artistic and aesthetic criteria – Sustainable architecture
– Modern Life and Technology