Historical texture of Alaçatı: The Stone houses

Even if you were the greatest modern artist, you wouldnt be able to  paint like Picasso. Do you know why? It is because he had his own language, narrative style, his paintings are one of a kind. That is how all art should be, architecture is not imitated, they are similar to the houses in the Alaçatı homes

History of the ancient city of Erythrai can be considered Alacati history. It has gained great importance in history since it has a distinctive south-facing port. The Alaçatı Port is one of the safest ports is in the south of the Çeşme Peninsula. This History dates back to 3000 BC. But Alaçatı has the texture of today, it is the beginning of the 1800s. The reason for this is that at the beginning of the 1800s, the economic development in Alaçatı had accelerated. So how did this development begin? At the beginning of the 1800s in Europe,  all of the vineyards are rendered inefficient, and all the ports that meet the grape and wine needs of Europe are evaluated. One of these ports is Alaçatı Port. After the 1830s, high-quality grapes and wines that grow in the fertile soil of the region are open to the world from Alaçatı Port. As a result, the most essential factor in the development of Alaçatı’s economy was viticulture, wine production, olive production and olive oil production. In parallel with these factors, the port also contributes to the economic development of Alaçatı.

The creation of surplus values in Alaçatı, the quality of the buildings, provides the quality of the furniture. In 1878-1881 there were two major earthquakes in Alaçatı. Cesme and Alacati houses are damaged by 80-90 percent. The construction of the existing houses we see in Alaçatı now corresponds to the period after this earthquake. After the earthquake, the houses were restored, new streets are opened, and the city is fully rebuilt.

The exchange has changed the way of production

In the past, the dominant population in Alaçatı was the Greeks. Until the end of the 1800s, the population of the Turks was very low, and after 1922, the population had increased. Until the 1920s, the way of production was mainly grapes, and therefore wine, while the wine production was not adopted by the Turks because of Islam. Bonds were broken, and production facilities were shut down. We can clearly observe the reflection of the economy and the mode of production on these dates. After a few Turks settled in the town after the exchange, the architecture did not bring about significant structural changes until the 1970s.

The front of the house looks at the city and the back

When describing the houses of Alaçatı, we must first explain how the lifestyles of these people reflected in the building, space, and what materials were used. Formation of the texture in Alaçatı is formed by transferring the production form to city life. There are houses on the main streets in Alaçatı, behind these houses there are large gardens. There are fields behind them. The facades of the houses face the street and the city, and the backside facing the gardens and fields.

The stones which are extracted from the stone quarries in Alaçatı region and which give texture to the region are the local stone of Alaçatı. These stones have been used in Alaçatı for home and space production since it is easy to obtain and transport. The stone, which is both volcanic and sedimentary and has a porous structure, has been used frequently in construction works due to its easy processability. Another feature of the stone is that it has moisture regulator and heat retention. A kind of moisture in the air, which can adjust the amount of moisture, when it has an excess of moisture, dry air out to release. A 50 or 60 centimetres thick stone wall makes serious thermal insulation. This kind of stone structures do not let the cold air in the winter, but in the summer it keeps the interior cool. Therefore, the texture of the stone dominates the entire region. In later times, wealthy families are exposed to plaster outside their homes. Generally, the rooftops are covered with alaturka tiles. Window and door around the jambs made. There are a few decorations on the ceiling and walls. Chestnut, thuja and cypress trees have been preferred in the carrier systems of Alçatı houses. In the window and door joinery and pavement, pine lumber is used. These are very detailed in the process; pure, unpretentious and straightforward processing was also used. We can evaluate Alaçatı houses as a unique unit of Mediterranean architecture.

Narrow streets provide shade

In Alaçatı, narrow streets built due to shade and security concerns are cobblestone. In later periods, rainwater analyses were carried out on the streets. Arrangements were made according to the relations between settlements and neighbourhoods rather than directions. Good neighbourly relations are especially felt outdoors.

The cumbers of the Mediterranean

On the ground floor of the houses, there are large courtyards, warehouses and animal vessels with the factors brought by agricultural production. On the first floors, there are rooms for the headroom, i.e. the guest room and the bedrooms. The toilets thought outside the place are located on the terrace or in the gardens. When the Turks settled in Alaçatı, the toilets were renovated and taken into spaces. Small terraces are frequently encountered in the kitchen. The large arched doors at the entrance of the Alacati houses provide easy access to the horse carts and animals. Immediately we can see these arches on the entrance walls of most buildings. Alacati houses are typical of the typical Mediterranean architecture. The inscriptions written on the stone tablet on the buildings indicate the date and who made the building.

Wind shaped structures

The wind has been an important factor in the whole peninsula. Structures are shaped in this direction. The architecture of the structures against lodos, which was active in winter, showed changes. Since Lodos is a wind blowing hard and raining, there are openings on the lodos front, measures to be taken against rain and details. So the front of the lodos is a facade that needs to be protected. In the summer, there is a form of settlement towards the breeze of the breeze that we call imbat. In the summer months, the spaces are arranged in this direction to take the coolness of the imbat wind. At the same time, this wind was also regulated on the streets. Geographical, topographic climate conditions are very important and directive in such structures. People build their structures according to these conditions. This situation is clearly seen in Alaçatı.

Originality is regional

Recently, especially after 2000, Alacati has started an extraordinary demand. With this situation, there was a need for construction within the framework of tourism. Alaçatı houses were built in the outer neighbourhoods of Alaçatı and structures that did not overlap with Alaçatı texture and architecture were built. Architecture is not imitated like art. You can’t paint like Picasso. Picasso has his own particular language, a narrative form, and his paintings are unique. Alaçatı house is unique. Originality is regional. Every age, every lifestyle, each production relation must be different with its reflection on the place, its material, technology and aesthetics. Emulation and emulation result in adverse situations.

Cute village of the old town became a favourite tourist centre

The beautiful Aegean village of antiquity has now become an elite tourist destination. This transformation brought both positive and negative effects. The usefulness of these developments led to many renovations, restorations and arrangements. Renewal with tourism will ensure that the spaces are transferred to future generations if used correctly. It is important fact that local people stay in the city and live in the city. As long as the local population lives there, the natural structure and the Alçati culture will continue to live. It is an inevitable fact that the production relations that bring Alaçatı to the present day will bring a new point with the tourism-based production way. The important thing is to turn this situation into a positive one. When the current tourism spans from the summer season to 12 months, this situation will also be reflected in the space. Businesses such as theatre decor, temporary architectural elements to enter the texture of another, 365 days to live permanently with architectural details to be different.

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