A VILLAGE BORN FROM ITS ASHES: 1955 FIRE AND RECONSTRUCTION OF DEREBUCAK

Abstract

Author(s): H羹seyin MU?MAL

Derebucak lies in a region that is very suitable for outbreak and spread of a fire because of nearby forest areas and use of wood in constructions as houses, barns and haylofts. As a result, big fires were encountered in Derebucak during the 20th century. The biggest of fires Derebucak went under is the one that took place on 8th of July, 1955. This fire turned 403 of 410 houses in the village to ashes and only structures that survived the fire were two school buildings, two mills, one sawmill and seven houses. Two children were killed and 50 livestock were destroyed in the fire. The fact that nearly every house in the village was burnt down together with commodities they held caused 2165 residents to be left homeless and economic damage of two million liras. In the aftermath of the fire in order to help the population’s needs food, clothes, kitchen appliances, sleepware etc. were collected and directed to the zone by Turkish Red Crescent and comittees gathered in Bey?ehir, Seydi?ehir and Konya. Furthermore, governor’s Office in Konya and congressmen of Konya immediately started pocesses for helping the reconstruction of the village. The residents of the village were situated in shelter tents provided by Turkish Red Crescent for a few months and then they were transferred to temporary wooden houses with few rooms outside the construction site until the completion of permanent housing construction in 1960’s. The 1955 fire caused a substantial physical change in Derebucak and ignited migration to cities and evenforeign countries. During those years in which the state managed migration of workers to foreign countries villagers of Derebucak were given priority. As a result of migration of its many residents abroad Derebucak’s fate changed completely.

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