Cultural Politics of the Turkish Republic Within the Context of “Atatürk on the Excavation Site of Ahlatlıbel” Painting

May 3, 2023

11 May 2023

Lecturer:  Dr. Feyza Akder, Hacettepe University

Şeref Akdik’s painting Atatürk on the Excavation Site of Ahlatlıbel (1933) presents the Turkish History Survey Association’s group portrait as the representation of national histograhy. Reşit Galip, Nevzat Tandoğan, Yusuf Hikmet Bayur, Afet İnan, Yusuf Akçura, and Hamit Zübeyr Koşay who are  portraied in the painting are public figures who contribututed to the Association. The artifacts retrieved from the excavation were a part of the Second Turkish History Congress Exhibition (1937), and emphasized the painting’s content. The painting is a rare example where archeology represents the national identity. During the 1930s, anthropology and archeology were supported by the government and used for constructing a new national historiography. Both were developing simultaneously, producing data for the national history. The painting is a group portrait of the scientists and bureaucrats working on these fields to construct the national history.

The lecture will be online and in Turkish. Registration is required.