The paper is going to focus on “Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain”, or the German Fountain in turkish, as an embodiment of the political landscape of the turn of the century Ottoman-German relations. It will try to understand the Fountain as a german monument in an Ottoman city, away from its origins.
Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain was a gift from the German Kaiser Wilhelm the II. commomerating his second visit to Ottoman Empire in 1898. Its purpose according to German Empire was to benefit the Ottoman public as a drinking fountain and stand as an embodiment of the friendship between two Empires.
The Fountain’s neo-byzantian style combines neo-roman style, which, as “Rundbogenstil” was one of the styles Germans adopted as national in the 19. century and Byzantian heritage of Istanbul. An oriental style with a strong christian history attached to it. The Fountain designed in this style was celebrating Istanbul through its history as Constantinople, a christian Roman capital. It also was strongly german not only with its style but also with its form which shows remarkable similarity to German monuments of that century.
The Fountain was one of many steps taken by German Empire to improve their relationship with Ottoman Empire, which was an reciprocated ambition rooted in economical and political aims of domination of eastern resources and search for an European ally. The friendship documented with him accompanied these Empires through the most drastic changes of their existence.
Ceren Göğüş, Istanbul Kültür University, Turkey
Stream: Cultural Studies
This paper is part of the ACCS2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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