Last modified: 2016-10-23 by ivan sache
Keywords: konak |
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Flag of Konak, two versions - Images by Tomislav Šipek, 8 March 2016
The municipality of Konak (390,682 inhabitants in 2012; 6,940 ha) forms the central part of the town of İzmir.
Ivan Sache, 6 March 2016
The flag of Konak is white (photo) or red (as seen on 21 April 2013 on the Municipality Hall) with the municipality's emblem in the middle. "Belediyesi" means "Municipality".
The emblem of the municipality features the İzmir Clock Tower. So does the emblem of the Metropolitan Municipality of İzmir.
Quoting the Very Turkey website:
This historic clock tower is located in the Konak Square in the city centre of İzmir and was designed by the Levantine French architect Raymond Charles Péré, and built in 1901 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the accession to the throne of Abdülhamid II (1876–1909). The tower has an iron and lead skeleton, stands 25 m high and features four şadırvan (fountains) which are placed around the base in a circular pattern with columns of a Moorish design.
The clock itself was a gift from German Emperor Wilhelm II (1888–1918) and is decorated in an elaborate Ottoman style.
The clock tower appeared on the back of the Turkish 500 lira banknote from 1983 to 1989 and these style of clock towers can be seen in other Ottoman provinces particularly those in the Balkans and are called Sahat Kul.
Raymond Charles Péré (1854-1929), born in the south-west of France, studied architecture in Bordeaux and was hired in Smyrna as an interim French teacher. He married in 1884 Anaïs Russo, born from a French family established in Smyrna long ago. Péré was appointed "expert architect" at the French Consulate General and designed several houses for the French and Levantine communities. He was also the main architect of the Roman Catholic institutions of the town; its first significant work was the increase of the St. Polycarp church, used as the French parish and the Consulate's chapel. Several of the buildings he had designed were destroyed during the Great Fire of Smyrna (September 1922) or subsequently rebuilt, so that only 4-5 buildings credited to Péré are still visible in İzmir.
On 14 August 1900, a municipal commission offered him 1,700 Ottoman golden pounds to build a clock tower on Konak Square; Sultan Abdülhamid II wanted to highlight both the modern values and the principles of Islam. A brand new kind of building erected among traditional citadels and mosques, the Clock Tower symbolized modernity; its design, however, was a straightforward reference to Muslim minarets.
[B. Blanc. Un architecte français à Smyrne]
Tomislav Šipek, Klaus-Michael Schneider & Ivan Sache, 6 March 2016