Ataturk’s Izmir: Rebirth of a City

Uz, Behçet. Atatürk’ün İzmiri,
Bir Kentin Yeniden Doğuşu
. L. Ece Sakar (ed.). İstanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası
Kültür Yayınları, 2009, 2nd ed., 192pp.



Ataturk’s Izmir: Rebirth of a City


Atatürk’ün İzmiri, Bir Kentin
Yeniden Doğuşu


Ataturk’s Izmir tells the story of the
rebirth of Izmir, which is today Turkey’s third largest city. This book is a
collection of Doctor Behçet Uz’s memoirs, who was the driving force behind Izmir’s
transformation from a wrecked city in the 1930s into a modern city. The author
recounts his medical training before his involvement in politics. He supports
his story with the aid of visual materials. Uz’s purpose in writing his
biography was to convey his pivotal role in turning Izmir into a modern city.


While Uz was
working as a successful paediatrician in Izmir, he witnessed the invasion of
the city by the Greeks on May 15, 1919. Retaken by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on
September 9, 1922, Izmir was ruined by fire, historically known as The Huge Fire in Izmir. During these
years, Uz started his political career while he was still highly respected as a


As the mayor of Izmir
between 1931 and 1941, he worked towards the rebuilding of the city. Uz devoted
himself to the modernisation and progression of his beloved city. He
inaugurated September 9 Fair in
a new compound where many fairs and exhibitions take place ever since. Along
the Izmir Fair compound he
established a Culture Park,
both of which have contributed to economically and culturally to Izmir. Uz died
before completing his last projects, Izmir
Atatürk Forest
and War of
Independence Monument.


Since Uz’s goal
was to demonstrate his own achievements, he focused more on his career than on
discussing in greater detail what readers might expect from the title – ‘Ataturk’s
Izmir ’.



by Gülşah Dindar


Gökter, Bilge. '"English abstract of 'Ataturk’s Izmir: Rebirth of a City'". Translated by Gülşah Dindar. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 20. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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