Experts to inspect Istanbul 3rd bridge construction
Ömer Erbil ISTANBUL / RadikalThe Istanbul Archaeology Museum has sent a team to inspect the route of Istanbul’s third bridge after reports that contractors have failed to inform museums regarding the myriad archaeological findings unearthed on the roads connecting to the new bridge crossing the Bosphorus.
The archaeologists will prepare a report and deliver it to a ministerial board to protect cultural artifacts.
The protection board will decide whether to start an excavation in the area upon the report from the inspectors. A change in the route or a delay of construction could occur depending on the artifacts found along the route.
According to a section regarding cultural patrimony in the environmental impact assessment report (ÇED), which was prepared by two senior archaeologists, the route of the third bridge’s roads will cross a number of sites that should be examined and excavated.
“Considering the archaeological potential of the area, a field examination of the construction sites should be carried out with the cooperation of the Regional Cultural Heritage Protection Boards following deforestation. It is imperative that activities that include physical intervention be carried under the watch of experienced archaeologists,” the report said.
According to the legislation, the contractors have the obligation to halt construction and inform the closest museum regarding archaeological findings unearthed during the works. Regional Cultural Heritage Protection Boards can also rule that construction works be conducted under the supervision of museum officials.
No such steps have been taken by the firms rushing to finish the bridge before a 2015 deadline imposed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The bridge has been criticized by many on the grounds that it will not improve Istanbul’s traffic but is merely designed to enrich friends of the government through inevitable land speculation.