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Büyükelçilik binası

sede Ankara

İtalya’nın Ankara Büyükelçiliği
1923 yılında Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi Ankara’yı yeni kurulan Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin başkenti ilan ettiğinde o zamana dek İstanbul’daki tarihi Venedik Sarayı’nda bulunan İtalya Büyükelçiliği için yeni bir yerleşke yapılması gerekli hale geldi. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk yeni yerleşke için başkentin ana arteri ve aynı yıllarda Almanya, Amerika Birleşik Devletleri, Avusturya ve Polonya Büyükelçiliklerinin de inşa edileceği Atatürk Bulvarı üzerindeki araziyi İtalya’ya bağışladı. İtalya Büyükelçiliği yerleşkesi için çalışmalar ancak mimar Paolo Caccia Dominioni’nin projesinin seçilmesiyle 1938 yılında başladı ve iki yıl sonra, 1940 yılında tamamlandı. Proje tamamlandığında ana yapı olan büyükelçi rezidansının çevresinde konumlanan büyükelçilik ofisleri ve konsolosluk kançılaryasının yer aldığı fonksiyonalist stildeki yapılardan oluşan bir kompleks ortaya çıktı. Büyükelçiliğin iki yıl süren inşa çalışmaları mimarın günlüğünde anlatılmış olup bazı detaylar aşağıda sunulmuştur.

Mimar Paolo Caccia Dominioni’nin günlüğünden

1938 “(…) when the effective order to start working was given, an element generally considered to be indispensable for this type of activity was lacking: the blueprint. This happened in early 1938; other essential things were also missing besides the plan. Qualified man power ( . ..) was lacking, as were building materials, especially wood. But nevertheless we began. (…) A heady excitement appears after a few days on the chosen land. The foundations of the first seven buildings are excavated, while the corresponding plans are feverishly drafted on the basis of a vague general scheme, more or less approved by Rome. Finally, on 22 May, Monsignor Roncalli, the apostolic delegate, in the presence of Carlo Galli, Ambassador of the King, consecrates the first stone of the future church, the first catholic church in Ankara. But woe betide if the Turks were to assist at a religious ceremony in the 15th year of the secular kemalist regime: this could provoke a serious incident. The prelate celebrates the service on the land behind a large wooden screen that conceals him from sight. The foreign diplomatic corps assists, within the screen like in a cage (…).

sede Ankara

n November 1938, with the first cold wave of winter, always harsh in Anatolia, the first work season ends. The seven buildings are more or less completed, and anyway already inhabited and in full activity: the church, the offices, the residences of the civil servants and employees, the garages, various installations (…).


Fotograf: Büyükelçiliğin kilisesi. Temel taşı sonradan Papa 23. İoannes olacak Monsenyör Roncalli tarafından

1939 “With the resumption (of work) in April 1939 (…), many internal difficulties of the construction yard are smoothed over. The carpentry and masonry work is now entrusted to splendid teams of craftsman from Lombardy and Friuli. They seem to have a magic touch, watching them at work gives one enormous satisfaction: they are accurate, speedy and precise (…). If things proceed like this, it won’t be difficult to complete the entire programme by November, that is the main building and another two service structures (…). (but) The wood arrives only in August. It is only at the end of the month, after having discarded a large quantity, that we can start the frames and woodwork. Practically an entire year has been lost, because houses are of no use if they lack doors, windows and furniture.
In that same period, the dark clouds that for some time had been thickening over Europe turn into the bloody storm that involves all nations, one after another. The Ankara building yard is immediately deserted by all the local workers, about two hundred labourers (…) It is better to repatriate almost all staff and slow down work as much as possible. And that is what happens, all the more so as the new Ambassador, Ottavio de Peppo, refuses to give any orders regarding the construction. The writer departs for Rome soon after with the aim of receiving precise instructions: but as soon as he arrives home, he is assigned to the Staff of the Prince of Piedmont, commanding the army on the French border. Here he spends four months, until an order from Rome sends him back to Ankara to resume work. And this work, we think, can now continue without any preoccupations . There is not the slightest danger that Italy might join the war: this is what all those believe, who in that period were in a position to judge, from a privileged observatory, the actual conditions of the army in their inconceivable reality.”
1940 “And so the workmen, that in September 1939 had been repatriated in a great hurry, are urged to resume their posts, which they do in January 1940 .The authoritative opinion of Palazzo Chigi sanctions our own. The construction yard comes back to life in spite of the excessive cold: every contrivance and every sacrifice are confronted to accelerate completion. Two free afternoons a month represent the only rest, and working days are ten hours long (…). The workmen’s canteen is an important asset. All attend, from the engineer to the youngest apprentice mason. The canteen’s rough, picturesque hut, built of discarded wood, has become famous among the international diplomatic corps in Ankara. Frequent invitations are sought after by distinguished officials eager to taste our risotto and our Valpolicella. One evening, at the long table which brings together thirty five Italian workmen, sit the Polish Ambassador, a Hungarian Minister, French, British and German counsellors(…). On the evening of 10 June the workmen, as usual, are gathered around the radio. Thus they hear that Italy has also joined the war (…). The Turkish personnel, except for a very faithful few who have been with us for three years , abandons us precipitously for a second time. But Turkey remains neutral and now we really have reached the end: with a last effort we conclude this arduous enterprise.
Today, 2 August (1940) we have finished. The Ankara construction yard has lasted twenty nine months, of which only nineteen of actual work. But if we calculate everything (…), they add up to three hundred fifty four months, and we do not cut a fine figure. But here we will cut a fine figure. They say that the architectural complex is pleasurable to look at for its total absence of pretence and an undeniable nobility of lines. The merry village of 1938 has spread out and gathered around the dominating mass of the main building. It harmonizes well with the landscape that was previously too severe, but that now, after an effort needing to be recognized and admired, is becoming wooded and flowery, under a sky of unforgettable colours and iridescences. In the ten buildings which constitute the small village live more than seventy Italians. This building yard will be like a jewel in our long experience of work (…) .The strong memory will remain of the passionate, gay, noisy work in a strange and exciting atmosphere, and of the profound satisfaction of having been able to achieve the objective in spite of circumstances”.

Bibliyografi: Ambasciate D’Italia in Turchia / Graziano, Vittorio. – Catania : Mediterraneum, 1994.
Fotoğraflar: Massimo Cavagna