Trakya University Lausanne Monument, Square and Museum

Trakya University Lausanne Monument, Square and Museum

Karaağaç was given to Turkey as a war indemnity with Lausanne Peace Treaty which is the identity card of the Republic of Turkey. Karaağaç is situated in the Anıt-Kent, Edirne 10 km away from the center, near the Maritsa, in the willow forest where mansions and residences with large gardens that show the architectural characteristics of the period.

This building which is in Karaağaç district in Edirne was also used a train station until 1972. After that, it was assigned to Trakya University, embodied many units of it and was used as social facility.

Trakya University senate held the 7th meeting on the 27th of November in 1996. As a result of the research of Rector of Trakya University Dear Prof. Dr. Osman İnci and the joint suggestion of the university’s Ataturk’s Principles and History of Turkish Revolution Research and Application Center with the Balkan Research and Application Center, it was discussed to build a Lausanne Monument, Museum and Square. It was decided unanimously with the decision no.1 that there is no monument which represents Lausanne and that in today’s Turkey there are disruptive and destructive attacks against the fundamental principles of the Republic on the purpose of resurrecting Treaty of Sèvres and therefore against this threat a monument which would represent the symbol of our Republic the Peace Treaty of Lausanne was to be erected in the historical place in the university where Karaağaç Social Facilities is found. In addition to that, it was also decided unanimously with the decision no.6 of the second meeting of the university senate on the 19th of March in 1997 that the Trakya University Rectorship Center Body was to be moved to this building where the Lausanne Monument will also be situated. With the 21.11.1997 dated and 45569 numbered letter written by the General Directorate of Ministry of Finance National Estate to the Rectorship Office, University Senate assigned the building to the Trakya University Rectorship.

In accordance with all the decisions, the issue was evaluated on the national and international dimension and the working team of the project design Edirne Governorship, Edirne Mayorship, Trakya University, Mimar Sinan University, İstanbul Technical University and İnönü Foundation committee started working with the first meeting in 14.02.1997. This working team included Prof.Dr.Osman İnci, Prof.Dr.Tamer Başoğlu, Prof.Dr.Metin Sözen, Prof.Dr.Mete Ünügür, Prof.Dr.Mehmet Ş.Küçükdoğu, Prof.Dr.Hasan Şener, Prof.Dr.İsmet V.Alptekin, Prof.Dr.Veyis Özek, Assist.Prof.Dr.İlter Büyükdıgan, Assist.Prof.Dr.Ayşe Sirel, Instr.Ümit Sirel, Const. Engr. A.Rıza Kedikli, Arch.Mehmet Tan, Arch.Özcan Topsel, Gür Karasu and İbrahim Akkaya. In consequence of the works done by the committee, the details like design of the monument, how to implant it to the chosen place and the environmental planning were examined, project was completed and the construction phase started. After 15 months of work, the foundations of the monument were laid on the 29th March in 1998. Also, a Lausanne plantation was created in the Lausanne Square. On the 29th of October in 1997, with a ceremony, 74 saplings were planted in this plantation. And on the 29th of October in 1998, the 75th sapling was planted on the 75th anniversary of our Republic. Since then every year in October 29, one more has been and will be planted.

After the groundbreaking ceremony of the Lausanne Monument and Square, while the construction works were progressing speedily, works related to the composing all the necessary documents for the Lausanne Museum also proceeded. The works related to establishing the museum were conducted by the Directorate of Library and Documentation Affairs.

Trakya University Rectorship started an aid campaign on an international dimension urging the public to attend the establishment of the Lausanne Monument, Square and Museum in order to show once and for all how our public possesses our national culture and Republic. In this sense, a fund drive account was opened under the name of “Fund Drive for the construction of Trakya University Foundation Lausanne Monument, Square and Museum” with account number 2010873 in Vakıfbank’s Edirne branch. All the information about the matter was transmitted to state institutions and organizations as well as press organizations.

All the documents about the historical Lausanne Treaty are displayed in the Lausanne Museum. All the research was done in order for Lausanne Museum to be designated. Two rooms of the museum were organized by “İnönü Foundation” and “Historical Research and Documentation Centers Founding and Development Foundation” with the documents these foundations provided. And the books about the Lausanne are presented in a display window in the entering hall of the museum.

Furthermore, some belongings and caricatures of our second President Dear İsmet İnönü who is the chief architect of the Lausanne Peace Treaty were also given to the museum.

As a result of all this work, Lausanne Monument, Square and Museum was completed in 110 days and inaugurated by the President Süleyman Demirel on the 19th of July in 1998.

Inaugurated monument being ferroconcrete consists of columns which were implanted on 3 cantilevers that are stuck to the base slab with 45 degree angle and independent of each other. The first column’s height is 36.45m and it symbolizes the Anatolia, the second column’s height is 31.95 m and it symbolizes Trakya and the third column’s height is 17.45 m and it represents Karaağaç. The concrete circle which surrounds these three columns at 7.20 m high is the symbol of unity and solidarity. The figure of a young woman which is placed at 4.20 m high of the front face of this circle stands for aesthetics, elegancy and law. The pigeon in one of the hands of the young woman represents peace and democracy and the document in her other hand represents Lausanne Peace Treaty. The 15 m radius semicircle-shaped pool placed at the feet of the monument symbolizes the seas which encircle our country.

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