Yalova Walking Mansion; Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk used to stay in the tent in Baltacı Farm he bought in Yalova where he came for the first time in 1927. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who loved the city very much and visited for several times, passed through it in 21 August 1929 for his Bursa visit. A huge plane tree in Millet Farm near Yalova pier attracted attention of Atatürk who visited the city with Ertuğrul Yacht.
The yacht was stopped at Atatürk’s request who was impressed by look of the plane tree. He went ashore by using the yacht’s boat. Atatürk, resting for a while under the shade of that plane tree ordered a mansion to be built near it.
The mansion’s construction which began in 21 August 1929 was completed within 22 days in 12 September.
MOVING THE MANSION – Yalova Walking Mansion
In 1930, when Atatürk went to the mansion, the people working here requested Atatürk’s consent for cutting the branch of the plane tree extending towards the mansion by indicating that the branch was hitting the mansion’s roof and damaging its roof and walls. Atatürk requested that the building is moved a further on tramway rails rather than cutting a branch of the plane tree.
This task was assigned to Mr. Yusuf Ziya Erdem, the Civil Works Director of the Istanbul Municipality where Yalova is affiliated. Mr. Erdem, the senior engineer Ali Galip Alnar and technical personnel came to Yalova and began working. The staff began working by excavating a foundation, dug down to the base level and the tramway rails brought from Istanbul were placed under the foundation of the building. As a result of much effort, the building was placed on the rails put under the foundation.
In the afternoon of 8 August 1930, the sliding operation began. This operation was followed by Mustafa Kemal, Makbule Atadan, Deputy Governor Muhittin Üstündağ, Deputy Civil Works Director Yusuf Ziya Erdem, the engineers from Istanbul and members of press.
Sliding operation of the mansion was done in two phases. In 8 August, firstly the terrace of the structure and then in the remaining two days, the operation of sliding the building on rails were completed and the building was slid about 5 meters east. Thus, the mansion was saved from demolition and the plane tree from cutting. In addition, after that day, the mansion has begun to be called as the Walking Mansion.
Moving the mansion is an important event for showing the importance Atatürk attaches on environmental consciousness. This event has increased recognition of the mansion and Yalova.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk rested in that Mansion and under the plane tree in Yalova where he visited for several times after that event. After his death, like all immovables of him, he donated the mansion to Turkish nation.
Popularity of the mansion decreased after Atatürk’s death. The mansion abandoned for a long time, was restored by Yalova Municipality in 2006 and opened as a museum. Then the Walking Mansion has restored its previous popularity.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WALKING MANSION
The building located on Yalova seaside inside Atatürk Garden Cultures Central Research Institute is a quadrangle and two-storey wooden structure.
It has a free-standing roof which is covered with Marseille tiles. Facades are covered with wood and floors are separated through profile molding and covered with various decorative planks. Windows and window shutters are classical boxing shutters. The flooring of the entrance floor are black mosaic and marble. The upper floor is normal wood flooring. Walls are plasterboard with dyed cement mortar coating.
The building is entered through its western door. There is a small section at left of the entrance. This small section used to be a tea-coffee point while Atatürk was living in the mansion, today it is used as a coat room. At the entrance, there is a small WC straight ahead. There is a small room just next to the WC.
A meeting hall draws attention at the part facing the sea. The gramophone which Atatürk loved very much is also here. Three sides of this hall facing the sea are covered all along by crystal glazing doors.
You reach the upstairs through the wooden stairs just right side of the entrance door. There is a semi-basement water-heating center under the stairs which is accessed from outside. The water heated in a cast-iron boiler with thermostate reaches the upstairs through pipes.
At the exit, again there is a small WC and a bathroom just ahead. There are one each doors in these WCs and bathrooms at the lower and upper floors, which open to the Atatürk’s bedroom at the upstairs and to the living room at the downstairs. The Atatürk’s recreational room at left also opens to the terrace.
There is a L-shaped small bedroom just across this room. Several paintings of the farm are on the walls of the room. There is a closet just left of the stairs and there are aBelgium porcelain dinner-set for 32 and cutlery for 32, 2 crystal pitchers, Atatürk’s quilt, pillow, bed sheets and tablecloths in that closet.
From there, a second section is accessed through a 8-step stairs. Then, you access the wood pier. The pier is about 30 meters long and 2 meters wide. The old plane tree causing moving the mansion is just at the west of it.
The generator room about 50 meters west of the Walking Mansion was built in the same date. The Mansion was used to be lighted from 110 volts Siemens electric motor in here.
HOW TO GO TO THE WALKING MANSION?
Distance between Limak Thermal Boutique Hotel and Yalova Walking Mansion is about 20km.