Part 14 of a month-long celebration of Women’s History Month
One of the first female architecture students in Turkey, Mualla Eyüboğlu Anhegger (1919-2009) distinguished herself through a career dedicated to the heritage of her country. Born at the close of World War 1, Eyüboğlu grew up during Atatürk’s modernization of Turkey as a new Republic and secular nation-state. After completing her education at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Istanbul, between 1936-42, she was appointed head of the Construction Department near the capital of Ankara. There, she developed projects for government-sponsored teaching institutes and later taught architecture, drawing, and art history at one of them. Overall, these “village institutes” were part of the modernizing campaign for rural populations.
After teaching urban development for a time at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, Eyüboğlu found herself politically sidelined with the rise to power of the Democrats. Starting in 1949, she engaged in a new field, taking part in archaeological excavations at the Hittite capital of Yazılıkaya and at Ephesus. These formative experiences, working with people who still lived highly traditional lives with highly traditional buildings, soon led to work with the High Council of Antiquities and Monuments (Gayrimenkul Eski Eserler ve Anıtlar Yüksek Kurulu), completing restorations throughout Turkey on centuries-old buildings including baths (like the Gazi-Mihal-Hamam above), bazaars (Edirne), schools (Buruciye Medrese, Sivas; Zinciriye Medrese, Mardin), mosques (Üç-Şerefeli Mosque, Edirne; Hunat Hatun Mosque, Sivas; Süleymaniye Külliyesi, Istanbul), fortresses (Rumelihisarı, Istanbul), and an extensive, ten-year project on the harem of Topkapı Palace, Istanbul. Except for a brief stint in Amsterdam after her marriage, Eyüboğlu remained committed to the architectural heritage of her country, working on the restoration of Ottoman and Hittite architecture until her retirement in 1981.