Exile in Turkey. Photo: Thomas Platow, LAB.

National Socialist Rule and Turkish Exile

Ernst Reuter - former communist, current social democrat, and supporter of the "Weimar system" now ostracized by the new rulers - thus belonged to those people who suffered persecution and severe reprisals under National Socialist power. The Secret State Police (Gestapo) arrested him twice; he escaped imprisonment in a concentration camp thanks to the effort of his English friends who used their influence with important circles in Berlin. In 1935 he and his family emigrated via the Netherlands and Great Britain to Turkey.

At first, the highly esteemed administration expert found employment as an advisor for tariff issues at the Turkish ministry of economics. In 1938 he became professor for local politics at the School of Political Sciences in Ankara, additionally counseling the ministry of traffic. Because of his teaching position and his numerous publications of that time Ernst Reuter is considered to be the founder of Turkey's modern urbanism. He taught a whole generation of city planners and administration experts. His attempt to organize a resistance against the Nazi-Regime from his exile did not succeed, however.