C. M. Kosemen

C. M. Kosemen

Artist and Researcher




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A collection of Turkish apartment signs

Turkish cities are distinct for having apartment buildings named after animals, plants, and fruit, even feelings. From the early 1900s to the 1970s, these names were painted on apartment entrances as elegant, idiosyncratic signs. In the present day, these unacknowledged works of art are threatened by rampant urban renewal and gentrification.

This a collection of hand-painted and wrought-iron apartment signs from the Turkish cities of Ankara, Isparta, Eskişehir, İzmir and Adana. For a major collection of hand-painted signs from Istanbul, please consult my book, The Disappearing City: Hand-painted Apartment Signs and Architectural Details from 20th-Century Istanbul.


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Akdeniz / Mediterranean, Ankara.


Akdeniz / Mediterranean, Eskişehir.


Alp / Warrior (Name), Ankara.


Ankara / Ankara, Ankara.

Aşiyan / Aşiyan (Name of district in Istanbul), Ankara.


Asya / Asia, Ankara.


Ay / Moon, Ankara.


Ayvalı / With Quinces, Ankara.


Barış / Peace, Ankara.


Binnaz / Very Coy (Name), Ankara.


Birtan / One Dawn (Name), Ankara.


Bodur / Squat, Ankara. Photo by Onur Kutay Özertürk.


Boylu / Tall (Name), Ankara.


Budak / Ash Tree (Name), Ankara.


Burç / Castellation, Parapet, Ankara.

Çamlı / With Pines, Ankara.


Çimen / Grass, Ankara. Signed by İzzet.


Çördük / Pyrus calleryana, Callery Pear, Ankara.


Delikanlı / Young Lad, Isparta.


Dostlar / Friends, Ankara.


Eczacı Mahmut Akan / Mahmut Akan (Name) the Pharmacist, Adana.


Eren / Sensitive, Wise (Name), Ankara.


Eser / Relic (Name), Ankara.


Feza / Space, Ankara. Signed by Hayri Altın Fırça.


Figen / Scream, Cry (Name), Ankara.


Filiz / Bud (Name), Adana. Signed by N. Ariş.


Firdevs / Paradise (Name), Ankara.


Funda / Bush, Copse (Name), Ankara. Signed by Zühal.


Gayret / Effort, Ankara.


Gökdemir / Sky-Iron (Name), Eskişehir.


Gül / Rose, Ankara.


Gül / Rose, Ankara.


Gümüş / Silver, Ankara.


Güneş / Sun, Ankara.


Güngenci / Watchkeeper? (Name), Ankara. Signed by Çiçek.


Gürpınar / Rushing Spring (Name), Ankara. Signed by Adil.


H. Tapan / H. Worshipper (Name), Ankara.


Hâkan / Ruler (Name), Ankara.


Haseki / Noble Servant (Name), Ankara.


Hayal / Dream, Ankara.


Hürriyet / Liberty, Ankara. Obscured by recent commercial signs.


İnan / Believe (Name), Eskişehir.


İpek / Silk (Name), Eskişehir.


Işın / Ray of Light (Name), Ankara.


Kabalak / Shepherd's Cap (Name), Ankara.


Kaktüs / Cactus, Ankara.


Kaynak / Wellspring, Ankara.


Kent / City, Ankara.


Kent / City, Ankara.


Kırkdört / Forty-four, Ankara.


Konak / Mansion, Ankara.


Kuğu / Swan, Ankara.


Melodi / Melody, Ankara. Signed by Tekin.


Meltem / Summer Breeze, Ankara.


Menekşe / Violet Flower, Ankara. Photograph by Deniz Tekkul.


Merve / Sacred Hill (Name), İzmir.


Muazzez / Exalted (Name), Ankara.


Omat / Distinguished? (Name), Ankara.


Onbeşler / The Fifteen, Ankara.


Onlar / The Ten, Ankara.


Onlar / The Ten, İzmir.


Örnek / Examplary, Ankara. Signed by Lider.


Örnek / Examplary, Ankara.


Özgür / Free (Name), Ankara.


Park / Park, Ankara.


Pembe / Pink, Ankara.


Piray / Jewelry, Dowry (Name), İzmir.


Saadet / Felicity, Ankara.


Savaş / War, Adana.


Sedef / Mother of Pearl (Name), Ankara.


Sedef / Mother of Pearl (Name), Ankara.


Şengün / Joyful Day (Name), Ankara.


Sonat / Last Child, Sonata? (Name), Ankara.


Tayyare / Airplane, İzmir.


Uçar / Airborne (Name), Ankara. Photograph by Ayşenur Onaran.


Uçsar / Aerial? (Name), Ankara.


Ufuk / Horizon (Name), Ankara.


Uğur / Good Luck (Name), Ankara. Photograph by Deniz Tekkul.


Uğur / Good Luck (Name), Ankara. Photograph by Deniz Tekkul.


Uğur / Good Luck (Name), Ankara.


Uğurlum / My Lucky One (Name), Ankara. Signed by Ömer Lütfü Süer.


Ünsal / Reputable (Name), Ankara.


Uygun / Suitable, Ankara.


Yaluğ / Yearly? (Name), Ankara.


Yıldız / Star, Eskişehir.


Yosun / Moss, Ankara.


Yüksel / Rise (Name), Ankara. Includes date of construction, 1974.


Cemil / Elegant (Name), Ankara. Not an apartment sign, but a metal sign on a pavement.


Internet / Internet, Ankara. Early 2000s commercial sign.


Kuaför Hanifi / Hanifi (Name) the Hairdresser, Ankara. Commercial sign. Signed by Metin 3515275.


Pamuk Oyuncak / Cotton (Name) Toys, Ankara. Commercial sign.


Uğur Saatçısı / Good Luck (Name) Watchmaker, Ankara. Commercial sign. Signed by Uğur Baykara.

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Contact c.m.kosemen@gmail.com for inquiries.

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