Münevver Belen was born in Izmit. In 1929 she graduated from Erenköy Girls High School in Istanbul, where she established a close friendship with Leman Tomsu. Beginning her
architectural education at Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul in the same year,
she obtained her degree in 1934.
1935, she was appointed to the Office of Construction Works, and began to work
at the Provincial Directorate in Istanbul three months later. She conducted her
practice at the Provincial Directorate in Bursa and Kocaeli until 1939, and
continued to work in its central office.
worked on several projects with her colleague Leman Tomsu until her marriage
with the engineer, Mithat Gözeler, in 1940. She conducted her practice at the Provincial Directorate
until her retirement.
A modest but talented design architect, her projects are mostly characterized
by a sensitive use of modern language with simple, prismatic masses and
well-articulated proportions. Her building for the Ministry of
Finance in Sisli Division (Istanbul) can be regarded as a noteworthy
example of a project reflecting those principles. In addition, the Bursa
People’s House, her 1st prize-winning entry in an architectural competition, has a remarkable courtyard layout. Her series of four standard design types for PTT (General Directorate
of Mail, Telegraph and Telephone Management) buildings, emphasize the pure
and rational character of her work.
Although she is one of
the pioneering women architects in the Republic of Turkey, her career history
is not well-documented: She worked as a civil servant throughout her career and
architectural projects were defined as the collective institutional body in the state
functionary. Architects on those projects most often remained anonymous.
passed away in Istanbul in February of 1973.
of Mail, Telegraph and Telephone Management) buildings, Turkey, 1935.
Karamursel People’s House (with Leman Tomsu), Kocaeli, Turkey, 1936.
Gerede People’s House (with Leman Tomsu), Bolu, Turkey, 1937.
Kayseri People’s House (with Leman Tomsu), Kayseri, Turkey, 1938.
Bursa People’s House, Bursa, Turkey,
Project (with Leman Tomsu), Ankara, Turkey.
for the Ministry of Finance in Sisli Division, Istanbul, Turkey, 1946.
Dostoğlu, Neslihan T., and Özlem Erdoğdu Erkaslan. Leman Cevat Tomsu, Türk Mimarlığında
1913-1988. Ankara: Mimarlığa Emek Verenler Dizisi No: 6, 2013.
Erkaslan, Özlem Erdoğdu. “Modern Türkiye’nin İnşasında Kadın Mimarlar.” In Mimarlık ve Kadın Kimliği, edited by Nuray Togay, 27-78. Istanbul:
Boyut Yayın Grubu
Bilge. Architectural Production in State Offices: An Inquiry into the
Professionalization of Architecture in Early Republican Turkey. Ph.D. dissertation,
TU Delft, Institute of History of Art, Architecture and Urbanism, 2010.