Historic structures damaged in Diyarbakır
DİYARBAKIR – Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotosConflicts in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s central district of Sur have damaged ancient city walls, which were recently inducted onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List, as well as some other structures.
Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department President Nevin Soyukaya said some parts of the Diyarbakır’s city walls, two churches and a mosque were damaged during conflicts.
Some parts of the five-kilometer Byzantine-era city walls, which surround the Sur district, as well as Surp Giragos Church, Armenian Catholic Church and Kurşunlu Mosque all were damaged.
“The Diyarbakır Fortress and the city’s Hevsel Gardens, which includes İçkale, Anzele and Dicle Valley, were added to the list during the 39th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, held at the German city of Bonn on July 4. Sur was registered as a buffer zone. It means that this city should be protected according to international standards…Yes, human life has priority and nothing is more important than it. But humans exist with environment and nature. When these die, humans die, too,” said Soyukaya.
She said during the UNESCO membership process, while the works had been carried out by the Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality, the Culture and Tourism had presented the sites to UNESCO.
“Following the process of approval, both the Turkish Republic and local administrators made a commitment to protect this heritage,” Soyukaya said.
Conflicts in the Sur district have been continuing intermittently for two months. Two police officers were killed and six were wounded in two separate attacks on Sept. 6 during an armed attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in response to continued operations by security personnel against the militant group’s youth wing in Diyarbakır.
In the police operations against members of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H), the youth wing of the PKK, a number of people were detained, while citizens were warned not to leave their houses.