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Lydia Harrington's work, "City Planning and Atatürk's Memorial Tomb in Early Republican Ankara," explores the role of the official nationalist ideology of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's government in the planning and building of the Turkish capital, Ankara, from the 1920's to 1950's. This period covers the selection of the city as capital in 1923 by Atatürk to the completion of his memorial tomb there in 1953. She argues that though the new political elites of the Early Republic tried to distance themselves and their nation from their Ottoman and Islamic heritage through modernizing reforms and the creation of a new capital, these changes were continuations of the secularizing, Westernizing and nationalist projects started in the 19th century by Ottoman rulers. She also explores how these political elites and the architects they commissioned succeeded and failed to articulate their visions of ‘Turkishness' through the development of Ankara and the search for a 'vernacular modern' building style, addressing in particular how both groups understood what exactly was Western, Turkish, and Islamic identity and architecture.
Lydia Harrington holds a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she created a self-designed major in Middle Eastern Studies, History and Art