Aid organization hangs ‘Yes’ banner for referendum on historic city walls in Istanbul despite ban
ISTANBULA humanitarian aid organization, Sıcak Yuva Vakfı (Warm Home Association), has hung a banner saying “yes” for the upcoming constitutional change referendum, on Istanbul’s UNESCO-listed historic city walls despite bans.
The move was criticized by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Barış Yarkadaş who made an inquiry in parliament about the banner on the historic walls in Istanbul’s Edirnekapı district.
“There is no respect for culture and historical consciousness in the history of the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party]. Hanging a ‘yes’ propaganda banner on the historic city walls, which is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, is a huge scandal. A mentality that perceives historic city walls as a wedding hall, has not abstained from utilizing it for political campaign. I condemn these people who bring shame to our country,” he said.
Yarkadaş also submitted an inquiry to Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, asking whether an investigation would be launched into officials who gave permission to the association to hang the banner.
Earlier, Istanbul’s Fatih Municipality had controversially converted the historic city walls for the construction of a new wedding hall, covering them with a portable roof after receiving permission from the Provincial Board of Cultural Property Protection.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Fazıl Uğur Soylu had described the project “ugly,” but said the portable roof did not have contact with the walls.
“I’ve investigated the roof next to the historic walls. It is not mounted onto the historic walls but it looks ugly. It can also be seen from outside of the walls. We will make a complaint about it,” Soylu said.