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Professional associations


(The contact information of these and more associations can be found on Network page)

Chamber of Architects (CAT)

CAT, which was founded in 1954 with a private law, is defined in the Constitution as an institution working for the interest of public and society. Similar to any chamber of architects in many countries which formed the UIA (The International Union of Architects), CAT is a professional organization responsible for regulating architectural profession and registration to CAT is compulsory for the practice of architectural profession in Turkey. Since its foundation CAT has been following urbanization problems closely and makes interventions when necessary. CAT as a professional organization in the service of the society, besides protecting the rights of architects throughout the country, also works for the sake of providing a healthy living environment. CAT is administrated by democratic organs constituted of architects who are appointed to duty via elections amongst registered architects. As of 2010, CAT has branches in 25 cities, representative offices in 82 cities/counties, and 55 representatives.

            CAT has been an institution of opinions and struggles emerging from the inseparable bond between architecture and the rights of the public related to cities, environment and culture. CAT endeavors to solve related problems and to eliminate objectionable practices in the light of the principles of architecture with its central, branch and representative office organizations. CAT, especially brings law suits against the development decisions and practices which are not compatible with the interest of cities, society and country. (http://www.mo.org.tr/eng/belgedocs/CAT-leaflet.pdf)

            During its half a century long history, CAT's interest shifted to a more hard core politics rather than the professional framework. The leftist political opinions had been announced loudly and many applications of the governments are being severely criticized. Having more than 40.000 members, some architects who do not agree with the political views of the CAT started to complain about their professional organization, accusing the administration of neglecting the real problems of the profession and delving into politics. For the last couple of decades it is widely accepted among practicing architects that CAT is not effective anymore and does not fulfill its main obligations. It is also believed that CAT had lost its lobbying power in the governing bodies because of its continuous resistance to most of the urban development projects and lawsuits that are being opened one after other for major building projects.

See also:

  • Chamber of City Planners - www.spo.org.tr/
  • Chamber of Interior Architects of Turkey - www.icmimarlarodasi.org.tr/
  • UCTEA Chamber of Landscape Architects - www.peyzajmimoda.org.tr/ 


Freelance Architects Association

Within the last decade freelance architects in three major cities, who are complaining about the tense atmosphere the CAT created for years, founded the Freelance Architects Associations in Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir. Ankara was founded in 1983 but was not effective until 2000. Istanbul Freelance Architects Association was founded in 2003 and it has been followed by İzmir. Even though they were founded with the ambitions to fill the gap that CAT has been leaving empty they couldn't fulfill the expectations of the practicing architects, especially of the young generation. The practicing architects were expecting the FAA to be more effective in putting regulations within the profession itself that would create a more just environment. For instance the minimum fee dispute has not been solved for years which actually the CAT has to resolve. Also the quality of the organization of architectural competitions needs other regulations, where the FAA could be effective to put pressure on CAT. - www.tsmd.org.tr/


Istanbul Metropolitan Planning

Istanbul Metropolitan Planning (IMP) is a special department within the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) generating large and medium scale plans for Istanbul and its districts. IMP is formed under the company owned by Istanbul Municipality (BIMTAŞ), and does not have any legal status. It is formulated as a think-tank office to plan the future of Istanbul. Initially IMP invited hundreds of academics, specialists and professionals in order to work extensively on Istanbul. Huge amounts of work have been produced; loads of analysis has been made. Within a couple of years, IMP became the central attraction for many academics both from Turkey and from Europe. However, what IMP was proposing for Istanbul couldn't be applied in most cases. In the last couple of years, the sweet dream started to turn into a big disappointment. IMP lost its influence because it couldn't deliver what it promised with its huge staff and competent advisory team. IMM and the central government act independently and sometimes in contrast with what IMP is proposing. Eventually in 2009 the director of IMP, Hüseyin Kaptan resigned and IMP started to shrink, both in terms of its size and influence. Today it is still active with minimum amount of employee but actually without any effects on the decisions related to Istanbul.


Arkitera Architecture Center

Arkitera Architecture Center is an independent architecture and urbanism center founded in 2000 in Istanbul. Its mission is to sustain a better architectural practice, enhance the architectural culture and raise the quality of the built environment in Turkey. In order to achieve this mission, Arkitera develops and publishes several online (arkitera.com, gazeteparc.com etc.) and printed magazines (Raf Product Magazine) which is followed by the majority of the professionals of the related fields. Arkitera keeps its independent status by financing all of its events and publishing costs by sponsorship and advertisement revenues from the construction and property development industries.

            Arkitera initiated the first and largest archive of contemporary architecture in Turkey, which is also published over internet under the name Arkiv. Arkiv is currently the only and largest resource on contemporary architecture of Turkey which can also be followed in English over internet. The archive also forms the resource for the online architectural map of Turkey.

            Arkitera initiated the ARKIMEET lecture series in which the most famous internationally acclaimed architects were invited to Istanbul for conferences. (www.arkimeet.org)

            The center has close relationships with many similar institutions in Europe (NAI, Architektur Zentrum Wien, CABE, LSE – Urban Age, Europan etc.) and also has collaborations with many architectural schools in Turkey or abroad.

            In 2007, Arkitera Education Center (AEC) has been initiated in order to provide continuing educational courses for professionals. The education center focuses mainly on professional CAD and BIM software used by architects, planners and engineers. AEC has other short term workshops on professional development skills such as architectural photography, modeling or certificate courses such as property assessment trainings.

            Since its establishment, the Arkitera Architecture Center became a central communication platform for debates, discussions and dialogs for architecture and urbanism issues thanks to hundreds of conferences, panels and exhibitions organized.


Building Information Center (YEM)

The Building Information Center (BIC/YEM), established in 1968, is an information center that provides services to all users of building materials, including companies engaged in the production of goods, services, professionals, executives, architects, engineers and contractors.

            The Centre forms a common platform between producers and users and is a unique media group, which organizes sector-based fairs, publishes technical journals and periodicals, provides professional information, and organizes technical trips, meetings and symposiums. - www.yem.net/yem07/english.aspx

 Garanti Gallery founded in 2003 by one of the leading banks of Turkey (Garanti Bank), specializes in contemporary architecture, urbanism and design of all fields. Through its diverse programs like exhibitions, workshops, lectures and also with its publications, archive (Architecture and Design Archive Turkey) and library GG aims to contribute to a better understanding of built environment.

            Garanti Bank’s other two culture and arts foundations - The Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Center and Museum, Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center - which are significantly successful each on their own fields are coming together with GG under the roof of Garanti Culture Inc. The institutions, with their forces combined and their shared usage areas widened (covering a total of 15.000m2 of space), will reach to audiences with multi-disciplinary activities. Garanti Culture Inc. will be active in the fields of "contemporary art", "architecture, urbanism and design" and "economical, historical and social works" with activities such as researches, exhibitions, causeries, conferences, workshops, training programs and screenings alongside publications regarding the mentioned topics. The archive and library available within its scope will provide valuable resources for researchers in cultural and social fields. Garanti Culture Inc. will offer service in 2011 at two historical buildings, which are still being renovated in the Beyoğlu district. - www.garanti.com.tr/en/our_company/social_responsibility/projects_on_art_...