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Mudurnu062007 7309.jpg
20-JUN-2007

Mudurnu062007 7309.jpg

Bay windows on the first floor (and eventually on higher floors too) are common in 19th century civil architecture in Anatolia. In medium-sized and larger homes, the ground floor was organised as a ‘service area’ (depots, kitchen, residence of the staff, etc.). The ‘harem’ (= private living area for the owner’s family), as well as the ‘Selamlık’ (reception room where male visitors were received) were located at the upper floors, beginning with the first floor.

The main room of the ‘harem’, where the women of the household spend most of their free time, was generally located at the street side of the house, and often had such bay windows (called ‘cumba’ in Turkish). These windows were (almost always) equipped with wooden grills: the women could easily keep an eye on what was going on in the street, without being seen by (male) passers-by. So, the ‘harem’ – a closed and sacred area, when observed from the outside – appears to have had eyes that observed the outer world (and did so without its knowledge).

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: ‘Anadolu Mirasında Türk Evleri’ (T.C. Kültür Bakanlığı) 1995.

Some late-Ottoman houses have a single room on top of their upper floor. Called ‘köşk odası’ (= kiosk room), it is used in summer, and closed off in winter (because it has no fireplace). Their high position grant them an optimal ventilation, making even the hottest day heavenly.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Anadolu Mirasında Türk Evleri’ (T.C. Kültür Bakanlığı) 1995 & Wikipedia.

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