Recording the transformation of urban landscapes in Turkey: The diaries of Kurt Erdmann and Ernst Diez

Patricia Blessing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Two travel diaries by scholars working in Turkey in the 1940s and 1950s are at the centre of this article. The Austrian art historian, Ernst Diez (1878-1961), and his German colleague, Kurt Erdmann (1901-1964), both taught art history at Istanbul University, although they were not in the city at the same time. Diez's appointment, from 1943 to 1949, was interrupted during World War II, when citizens of the German Reich were interned in the small Anatolian city of Krehir. During this time, Diez recorded his discoveries of decaying historical buildings in his diary. Erdmann was Diez's successor of sorts, teaching in Istanbul from 1951 to 1958. The diaries that Erdmann left record his travels throughout Turkey in minute detail, pairing a sense of humour with acute awareness of the changes that were taking place in rural Turkey. Together, the two scholars travel diaries are an invaluable source of information on a period in which the major transformations of provincial Turkish cities had just begun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalStudies in Travel Writing
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Keywords

  • Amasya
  • Anatolia
  • Ernst Diez
  • Kayseri
  • Krehir
  • Kurt Erdmann
  • Sivas
  • Turkey
  • urbanism

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