Çorum deputy asks return of Ankara’s Hittite artifacts
ÇORUM – Anadolu AgencyRuling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Çorum deputy and parliament’s administrative chief Salim Uslu said they have initiated works to move Hittite civilization artifacts at the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara and the Hittite Sun Course Monument in the capital’s Sıhhiye Square to the Central Anatolian province of Çorum.
At a press conference held in Çorum, Uslu said they were carrying out works in Çorum, one of the oldest locations for Anatolian civilizations and the capital of the Hittite civilization, in a bid to have a larger share in tourism.
He said the artifacts unearthed during archaeological works in the city were being displayed in three museums in Çorum as well as the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, while criticizing that Hittite artifacts were displayed in Ankara.
He said they initiated works to repatriate the artifacts back to its place of origin. “We believe all symbols, artifacts and documents of the Hittites should be in Çorum. We believe that the most suitable places are Boğazkale, Alacahöyük and Shapinuva to display these artifacts,” he said.
Uslu stated that one of the artifacts exhibited at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations belonged to the Hittites, adding that they should be displayed in Çorum at all costs.
According to Uslu, visitors who want to see the artifacts should travel to Çorum and stay in the city rather than Ankara.
“We are proud that we retrieved the Sphinx, which was smuggled from Turkey to Germany 96 years ago. We believe that Turkish artifacts abroad should be returned to Turkey; the Culture and Tourism Ministry are working on this. But why shouldn’t the artifacts in Turkey be displayed in their original place? The Hittite Sun Course is on display in Ankara’s Sıhhiye Square. But such artifacts, even if they are replicas, should be in their own place. This is why it should be in its homeland, where the Hittites lived,” Uslu said.
Uslu stressed the Hittites are a reality of Çorum and Anatolia.
“The Hittites are very important in Turkey; they made the first ever written peace treaty and women played an active role in the Hittite civilization. We believe that those who want to see the Hittite artifacts should come to the city,” he said.
He also added that the name of Boğazkale should be changed to Hattusa and Ortaköy should be Shapinuva.