Autonomous Architecture in the Transformation of Bodrum; From Small Coastal Village to Big Touristic Destination

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Dr. Hatice Ozgul Ozhisar

Bodrum, which was a small coastal town before1970s, has now morphed into a big touristic destination of Turkey. Tourism was introduced to this village as an economic source of after the second half of the 20th century; however, this pursuit has proceeded to another phase after 1980s tourism boom, in which land development and building prices were given the topmost importance. The metamorphosis from a small city to a big touristic destination has happened so dramatically that it has deteriorated both natural and built environment of the region under the increasing pressure of capitalist policies and the economies of Turkey with a mask of tourism.

Therefore; this paper aims to focus these devastating and transforming forces in a developing country: Turkey. The main aim of this work is to investigate how this alteration took place in small sea-shore town with tourism. Tourism is usually a positive medium of both economic and social development for small cities of low income; hence, the present economic crisis that the world countries get stuck in is intended to be mitigated by tourism revenues. This potential is not new in Bodrum, since tourism has been recommended as a small business development utilizing traditional houses as pensions by the owner of them with the promotion of government. Meanwhile; the distortion of this innocent intend by the development of summer housing sites and then finally big luxurious tourism complexes has revealed the current dilemma of Bodrum peninsula. Tourism has consumed Bodrum’s identity and traditional housing type as touristic myth in the construction of built environment; whereas, traditional village centre pretending to be authentic has utilized tourism’s economic advantages for the benefit of the whole region. Our intention is to decipher than the notion of autonomous architecture the changing role of architects as a social agent under such political and economic transformations since the 1980s.