The Çankaya Mansion (Çankaya Köşkü) is the residence used by the Prime Ministry of Turkey and until 2014 was the official residence of the President of the Republic of Turkey. It is located in the Çankaya district of Ankara, which lends its name to the palace. The Çankaya Compound stretches over 438 acres (1.77 km2) of land with its unique place in the history of the Turkish Republic. The Çankaya compound houses Atatürk's Museum Mansion, the Pink Mansion, the office of the Chief Aide-de-Camp, the Glass Mansion and new office buildings including the State Supervision Council, reception halls and a press conference hall. There are also sports facilities, a fire brigade station, a greenhouse as well as the barracks of the Presidential Guard.
In accordance with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's "New Turkey" concept it was envisaged that the Çankaya Presidential Compound would become the Turkish Prime Ministerial compound. The Turkish President would then move into a new 300,000 sq m Presidential Complex which was built inside the Atatürk Forest Farm in Ankara.
The land upon which the Çankaya Mansion now stands was a vineyard that belonged to Ohannes Kasabian, an Armenian jeweller and merchant. The vineyard and house were confiscated by the Bulgurluzâde family after the Kasabian family fled Ankara to escape the Armenian Genocide and settled in the relative safety of Constantinople. When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who would later become the first president of the Republic of Turkey, saw the building in 1921, he took a strong liking to the property and bought it from Bulgurluzâde Tevfik Efendi for 4,500 Turkish lira.
When he initially arrived in Ankara in 1919, Atatürk settled in the Ankara School of Agriculture. Following his election as Speaker of the Grand National Assembly on 23 April, 1920, he moved into a stone house at the railway station, which was once station master's lodge, known as the "Direction House". In early June 1921, Atatürk settled in the vineyard lodge, which, after some minor repairs, became known as the "Çankaya Villa".
The Museum Mansion (Müze Köşk)
In 1924, architect Mehmet Vedat Bey undertook some renovations on the Kasabian villa, including adding a second floor for new bedrooms, a framed window entrance at the front, a pantry and kitchen at the rear, and a tower onto the side. In 1926, a central heating system was added. This villa became Mareşal Atatürk's home until he moved to the new Pink Mansion (see below) in June 1932. The building was then named "Army House" after Atatürk transferred it to the Turkish Army. The Mansion has held a very important place in the history of the Republic. In 1950, after some renovations, it was opened as a museum for public access. In 1986, major restoration works were completed. Since then, a conservation programme has been implemented to preserve the Mansion in its original form, with all its original fittings and furniture.
The building lacks the opulence of a large palace and is unpretentious, yet styled and designed for practical use. It served as Commander-in-chief Atatürk's headquarters during the War of Independence and the years of westernizing transformations and reforms. Having witnessed to a number of defining moments at a time when the War of Independence was fought and the Republic was founded, today, it is carefully preserved as a tribute to Atatürk's memory.
The Pink Mansion (Pembe Köşk, or Çankaya Mansion)
In 1930, the original Villa had no more room to serve the needs of the expanding functions of the Presidency. Atatürk requested the renowned Austrian architect Professor Clemens Holzmeister be invited to design and build a new presidential palace. Professor Holzmeister, after modifying his design in accordance with Atatürk's personal comments, completed the building in 1932, which later came to be known as the Pink Villa. A section of the villa's interior was designed at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. In concept, the Pink Villa's design was based on a traditional Turkish home, modified to serve both as a Presidential residence and an office, equipped with the amenities of a Western lifestyle. The fact that Atatürk was personally involved in its design makes it particularly significant as the Pink Villa represents his taste and style.
Atatürk resided in the Pink Villa until his death in 1938. All other presidents to date resided there after him. It was only after new office buildings were completed during 9th President Süleyman Demirel's term, that the Pink Villa was renovated and restored to its original design in 2001. Since then it has served only as a presidential residence.
The Glass Mansion (Camlı Köşk)
Designed by Seyfi Arkan, a Turkish architect, as a single storey modern residence of the mid 1930s, the Glass Villa served as a home for Atatürk's sister Makbule Atadan. After a brief period of service as an official guest house for visiting heads of states between 1951 and 1954, the Villa was used as a residence for Prime Ministers and Speakers of the Republican Senate until 1970. Through the years, the Glass Villa was extensively modified and extended, the latest having been completed in 1996. Since then, it serves again as a guest house for visiting heads of states.
There is no definite information related to the date of the Aide-de-Camp building. Despite the fact that it is stated in some records that it was built in 1922, in a book of memories related to 1924, there is no relationship between the building in the photograph stated to be the “Aide-de-Camp Building” and the building of the present-day. The Aide-de-Camp building is a single story built of stone and has undergone many restorations and repairs and it is understood that some sections were added on later. In a stone paved courtyard at the back of the building, the date 1928 is written, but it is not known whether this was written during the construction of the building or during a restoration.
The reinforced concrete building, for which Mustafa Aytöre and Orhan Genç were the project architects, is composed of two stories and a basement. One section is allocated for use to the Preservation Directorate and one section is allocated for use to the Administrative and Financial Affairs Chairmanship. It was built in 1985 on an area of 3,546 meters square.
The building, for which the foundation was laid in 1983, was completed in seven years and started to be used on 29 October 1993. The project, which was prepared by architects Mustafa Aytöre and Orhan Genç, is used as a workplace of the units of the Presidency and the New Service Building has meeting and reception rooms and the official office and study of the President.
The social facilities are composed of a shooting polygon, a sports hall and cafeteria and has a construction area of approximately 2,000 meters square. The construction of the facility, which is composed of three stories, started on 19 June 1995 and was completed on 20 December 1996. The shooting polygon was organized with the objective of training the bodyguard personnel of the Presidency and the sports hall and cafeteria were organized to give services to all of the personnel.
The health centre, with the repairs and additions made in 1996 and 1999, was transformed into a contemporary health centre that can provide services with a dentist, family physician, pediatrician, a sufficient number of nurses and a laboratory for the personnel on duty at the Presidential General Secretariat.
Press Conference and Reception Halls
Because the reception hall at the New Service Building was inadequate and that there was no press conference hall in the aforementioned building, a project was implemented on 21 May 1997 that would meet this need. A reception hall and foyer, which has different functions, has an area of 2,650 metres square together with additions and a press conference hall, which has a total area of 1,250 meters square together with the other sections, were constructed. The reception hall was opened for use on 29 October 1998 and the press conference hall was opened on 29 October 1999.
The Press Conference Hall, which was designed by being connected to the New Service Building, was built underground in order not to spoil the structure of the tree grove within the Presidential Campus.
General Secretariat and State Supervisory Board
The old service building within the Çankaya Presidential Campus was torn down and in its place, a new building was constructed, which was designed by taking into consideration the needs of the New General Secretariat and the State Supervisory Board, which are composed of six blocks connected to each other.
Greenhouse, Parks and Gardens Directorate
When the old greenhouse became inadequate, a new and contemporary greenhouse project was prepared and the construction started in 1998. The greenhouse and the Parks and Gardens Directorate building, which is composed of two stories on a total area of 1,590 meters square, was completed in 1999 and started services.
Gate No. 1
Gate No. 1, which is the main entrance gate of the Çankaya Presidential Campus, is also called the Protocol Gate. As it can also be understood from its name, the protocol entrances are made from this gate. Gate No. 1, which became inadequate to meet the needs, together with the changing conditions, was reconstructed in 1999, also including landscaping.
Besides the bronze gate, the wall coverings from andesite stone and the landscaping, there is a 230 meters square main gate building and a 140 meters square military unit building and was renovated in conformance with the general architecture and environmental structure of the Çankaya Presidential Campus.
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- (Turkish) Official Page of Çankaya Municipality http://www.cankaya.bel.tr/oku.php?yazi_id=161
- Official website of the Presidency
- Presidency of the Republic of Turkey: Çankaya Presidential Campus