ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş says a detailed work is being carried out to restore or locate the 808 lost and destroyed cultural sites and artifacts found in Istanbul. AA photo
After 10 years of research, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has rediscovered 808 lost and destroyed cultural sites and artifacts, and will now restore them as part of a plan to protect the city’s historical peninsula, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has said.
Detailed research lasting 10 years conducted in Germany and in the archives of the Turkish Republic has revealed the existence of 808 historical artifacts or sites in the city which are very important to Turkish-Islamic history and which had been destroyed or misplaced. The discoveries were made while construction plans were being made in Istanbul’s Fatih district, and detailed work is being carried out to restore or locate the artifacts, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Kadir Topbaş said. Some monuments had been demolished in the course of construction work, causing the destruction of some artifacts, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Assembly’s Construction Commission head Sefer Kocabaş said. The most serious damage occurred during the construction of the street connecting Şehzadebaşı to Fatih, Kocabaş said. The Planning Directorate found information and documents related to the lost artifacts after analyzing the Ottoman archives and maps from Germany and the Turkish Republic. The research enabled the directorate to pinpoint the former locations of lost historic sites including the Kepenek and Babahasan Mosques, Kocabaş said.
A proposal from the Planning Directorate, which has been approved by the Metropolitan Municipality Assembly, suggests adding the registry of lost artifacts and historic sites be added to Fatih’s “Land use plan to preserve the historical peninsula.” According to the plan, the sites will be restored in accordance with their original purposes.
Some $140 million will be spent to restore historic sites, Tobaş said.