Kırda Bir Modernleşme Projesi Olarak Köy Enstitüleri: Aksu Ve Gönen Örnekleri Üzerinden Yeni Bir Anlamlandırma Denemesi

Sıdıka ÇETİN, Ahmet KAHYA


Village institutes are unique education institutions that were established to provide education in villages, to give villagers guidance on issues, such as agriculture and health, to train teachers who were villagers themselves in situations where the technical and economic deficiencies of the early Republican era in Turkey were prevalent. The Village institutes have had significant roles in the educational activities of this era when 83.4% of Turkey’s population lived in rural areas, and most of them were deprived of education. Village Institutes were established with an inspiration from Soviet and German institutions, based on a curriculum that prescribed changes in the local characteristics of production and labor force. Thanks to these aspects, they had a modern pedagogical training approach. During their operations, these schools provided education that was based on the artisanal workshop system in which cooperation was possible.
However, curriculum and operations were not the only aspects where village institutes differed from other schools. It is commonly known that education is one of the main ideological components of modern states, and it provides a foundation for states to which they can transfer the principles of their own political ideologies. With this regard, it plays an instrumental role in ensuring the continuity of the state in the social arena. Specific social, political and cultural values and practices are transmitted to the people. Village institutes rose to prominence as an ideological acquisition and transmission mechanism for Republic ideology. With the village institutes, the government used education as an effective means of nationalization.
In this paper, village institutes are regarded as social and political projects that create a new character, the intellectual villager, endowed with the values desired by the state far beyond being merely an educational intervention that educates appropriate teachers for village conditions. Village institutes represent an institutional structure in which students learn and adopt the principles of Kemalism as a lifestyle.
The aim of this study is to analyze village institutes, using the examples of two village institutes (Aksu and Gönen), in Turkey’s the modern reconstruction period critically. In this study, village institutes are regarded as an important social archetype, an architectural instrument of social engineering and one of the spatial components of Turkey’s modernization project, such as Community Centers. Project like railway system that was developed to transmit development and modernity to the furthest reaches of the country, village institutes were established in 23 different areas of Anatolia. These institutes were spread evenly and intended to serve at least three neighboring cities.
The fact that local factors came to the forefront in the materials and construction of buildings in the institutes and were emphasized by contest rules is of great significance since it enables us to see how the modern evolved into the rural. Institutes have had a crucial effect on rural areas. These foundations included many experiences of space and architecture. In this context, institutes are distinctive fields of experience that can be used as guides for interpreting the transformations between the modern, the traditional and the local. The buildings of institutes include interesting approaches in which modernity and tradition are interpreted within each other, both in terms of their architectural features and construction methods. Based on the workshop system, both art and work are performed together; these institutions were carried out important projects by the state in rural areas. Localized design principles, the architectural diversity of the structures united into a whole. The use of characteristically local features are indicators of the unity of the modern and the traditional that was initially emphasized.
Institutes are also places where modern social relations were organized. In this respect, both of the sample institutes examined in this study were found to establish close relations with the surrounding villages, and the residents were found to undertake significant roles in the changes in standards of judgment that occurred when these residents witnessed modern life practices firsthand.

Keywords: Village Institutes, the Aksu and Gönen Village Institutes, ideology, modernization in rural areas, education.


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