Expanding Frame, Space and Time: 80's Urban Atmosphere at Arabacıoglu's Panorama Pages

Keleş H.

Transitions 9, London, United Kingdom, 8 - 10 April 2021, pp.38-39

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: London
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Page Numbers: pp.38-39
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


In Turkey, from the late Ottoman Empire period and in the Turkish Republic period; most of the caricature, cartoon and comic productions have been published by weekly magazines. An important tradition and rich culture have emerged in this cultural segment. Especially in 80’s, after the military coup in Turkey, Gırgır has become one of the most important popular culture icons ever; the sales figures of the magazine were almost as high as daily newspapers. The content of Gırgır was mostly based on politics and daily life. It was representing the urban atmosphere and public figures in a humorous way; and Istanbul especially was the common background of almost all productions as an urban landscape. Bülent Arabacıoğlu, a cartoonist working for Gırgır those years, was known mostly as the creator of adventure comic series “En Kahraman Rıdvan” [“Rıdvan the Most Heroic”], and also the multi-layered cartoon pages with multiple jokes, called “Panorama”. Each “Panorama” was drawn as a large scale perspective of an urban fragment containing different physical elements of the city with many characters. Around 20 jokes and situations on a specific theme were combined together in an architectural space, and a holistic narrative was being formed out of various sequences. This study focuses on 16 Panorama pages where Arabacıoğlu puts a lot of information about physical qualities of Istanbul, and the daily life of the time. These urban fragments are analyzed by simple architectural illustrations and a comparative reading in terms of perspective use, depth, scale, sophistication and perception of time. The study also examines how the unique theme of each panorama determines its architectural space and the represented social life. Consequently, repeated sociological and cultural codes of 80’s Istanbul are deciphered by producing patterns and diagrams.