The Urban Fabric and Traditional Houses of KIRKUK
By Dr. Suphi Saatçi, Professor of Architecture
Translated by Dr. Mehmet Bengü Uluengin
Dr Professor Zeynep Ahunbay edited the English copy
First edition: January 2007
Throughout history the city has been Turkoman, yet recent political debates have attempted to mask this fact and blur its ethnic and cultural identity. Kerkuk, as such, is a contested and troubled city.
It is obvious that such political distortions cannot be successful for long. Likewise, it should not be forgotten that unjust approaches to such problems only bring resentment, and are not sustainable in the long run.
Before attempting to comment on the ethnic and cultural make up of a city, its architectural fabric must be studied. The way local culture and social life are reflected on the city’s architecture, the traditions prevalent in the area and primary sources such as the biographies of master masons, building inscriptions and local architectural terminology, are of utmost importance in this regard. It is the goal of this book to demonstrate the utility of such sources in gaining insight into a particular locale or city.
With the publication of this book in English, I believe the Western world will have the opportunity to get to know Kirkuk closely. While this book, no doubt, should have been published earlier, even this tardy debut will serve a noble purpose.
Suphi Saatçi, Istanbul August 2006
Chapter One : Introduction
Chapter Two: The City of Kirkuk
Chapter Three: The Traditional Houses of Kirkuk
Chapter Four: Observations on the Folklore of Traditional Construction
Chapter Five: Witnesses of History: Building and Tomb Inscriptions
Chapter Six: Conclusion