Extract

The Stones of Kars

The Great Northeast

Architecture in Northeastern Anatolia
Edited by Amelie Edgü, with text by Metin Sözen, Hamza Gündoğdu and Aarand Roos

Milli Reasurans Gallery


In 2009 the Istanbul gallery Milli Reasürans staged a stunning exhibition of photographs of Turkey’s northeast by Ali Konyalı. As with all Milli Reasürans shows, the exhibition was marked by the publication of an equally remarkable book, Architecture in Northeastern Anatolia, edited by Amelie Edgü – the highlights provided rich pickings Cornucopia 42’s 55-page Great Northeast report

It’s the place where Orhan Pamuk set his grim novel ‘Snow’. And it was long dismissed as a Cold War frontier town. But have we been missing something? A new book reveals that, beyond the bleakness, the city of Kars – and the whole northeastern corner of Turkey – is an architectural historian’s treasure trove.

Winters are fierce – minus 30°c is common. But there is bounty, too. Beyond the city of Kars (the name rhymes with sparse) is a rich land of plains and mountains, lakes and rivers, great flocks of sheep and herds of wild horses, a land flowing with milk and honey. It has long been border country, a conduit for invading armies, traders’ caravans and nomads seeking pastures. Waves of Armenians, Georgians, Ottomans and latterly Russians have all left their mark. Architecture in Northeastern Anatolia, a fascinating new book of photographs by Ali Konyalı, unveils a wealth of architectural treasures, not only in Kars itself, but to north, south, east and west, from steppe to rainforest. There are medieval castles, soaring domed cathedrals, wedding-cake townhouses, even sturdy plantation mansions complete with tea gardens.

To read the full article, purchase Issue 42

Issue 42, 2009 Adventures in Anatolia
£8.00 / $10.65 / 41.73 TL
Other Highlights from Cornucopia 42
  • Wrestling with Life in the Mountains

    High in the apparently empty Kaçkars, the way of life is as old as the hills. Michael Hornsby joins in the fun at a village festival in remote summer pastures. Photographs by Giulio Rubino

  • A Cold, Harsh Reality

    Norman Stone unravels the history of Kars


  • Portrait of the Artists

    Unlocking the door to the private world of Feyhaman and Güzin Duran, by Maureen Freely


  • The Flutterby Ball

    The Kaçkar Mountains are heaven for butterflies, as the butterfly book author and photographer Ahmet Baytaş, economist by trade, ecologist by nature, discovered when he returned to Yaylalar, the village of his birth


  • Mother of the Uighurs

    The Turkic Uighurs of Western China have long chafed under Communist Chinese rule. Christian Tyler meets their formidable figurehead, Rebiya Kadeer, who spent five years in prison for protesting against her people’s treatment and now carries on her fight for their freedom from Washington

  • Water Over the Bridge

    For the English-speaking community of Istanbul the suggestion of aqueduct-hunting in Thrace strikes fear into the hearts of all but the foolhardy. Relentlessly cheerful, Prof James Crow of Edinburgh University would laugh off each misadventure and forge onward.



  • Gorgeous Georgian

    Robert Ousterhout is agog at the remarkable Georgian churches of the Tao-Klarjeti, the two medieval Georgian principalities between Kars and the Kaçkars

  • Heat and Dust

    Leo Gough grew up in the hothouse atmosphere of Cold War Ankara, where his father was director of the British Institute of Archaeology. He recalls tales of derring-do from the larger-than-life visitors and scholars who passed through the institute’s doors


  • Four Walks in the Kaçkars

    Kate Clow, pioneering waymarker and author of two walking guides to the Taurus Mountains, has now created a guide to trekking in the Kaçkars. Here she describes four breathtaking one-day walks.


  • A Day on Black Rock Pasture

    By whatever name it is known – whether Karataş Yayla (Black Rock Pasture) or ÇaGrankaya (Singing Rock) – this spur of the Kaçkars is full of drama. Andrew Byfield battled rain and fog to reach its riches


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Buy the issue
Issue 42, 2009 Adventures in Anatolia
£8.00 / $10.65 / 41.73 TL
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