Cevat Erder

cevatCevat Erder, the father of Melisa (Misa) Erder and Evin Erder died September 25th in Ankara, Turkey at age 92 after a long and active life as an eminent leader in classical archaeology and the restoration of historical monuments and sites.

Born in İstanbul to Ali Erder and Ismet Erder, he is survived by his two daughters, Misa, of Portsmouth NH and Evin, of Chebeague Island, his wife Ferhan Erder, of Ankara, his son-in-law Kelly Wright and his two grandchildren, Orson Wright and Lydia Wright. He leaves behind his sister Prof. Dr. Sema Erder, her daughter, Ayse Koksal, and her husband, Ersen Gursel, of İstanbul, two nephews Murat Erder of London and Dr. Yeni Hasan Yucel of Toronto, Canada, and two nieces, Su Yucel of Istanbul and Guzel Yucel of Izmir.

They and all their children remember him for his infectious sense of humor, in good times and in bad times, for his love of the sea and for his friendships with all creatures great and small, including the octopus and cats. He had a special affinity for islands, including Chebeague as well as Kinaliada where he grew up in Istanbul as a boy.

After completing his degree in Archaeology he joined the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, teaching and conducting research from 1958-1963. His doctoral dissertation and publication on Hellenistic Architecture in Anatolia: the Kyma Recta and Reversa remains the definitive one in the field. He returned to Turkey to found and lead the country’s first graduate program and center for the Restoration of Historic Monuments at the Middle East Technical University. He won the support of the Ford Foundation and other international institutions for its development as an interdisciplinary center of excellence. with misa and evin

The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey made him a Fellow in Residence at the Institute in 1972-1973. From 1974-1994 he served as a guest professor with the University of Rome and UNESCO’s International Center for the Conservation of Cultural Monuments (ICOMOS). In 1981 the United Nations appointed him the Director of the ICOMOS Center in Rome, leading it as its Director for seven years, when UNESCO awarded him the honor of “Lifelong Director”. He has been honored and remembered by many countries as well as by his large family of students and colleagues around the world.

He continued to shape international teams of specialists wherever he went, until the time of his death, crossing cultural divides to gather support for humankind’s heritage. He will be buried in Istanbul, Turkey on September 27th at the family cemetery.