Historical ruins destroyed in Beşiktaş’s stadium in central Istanbul
Elif İnce ISTANBUL – Radikal
Archaeologists made reports and took photos of the ruins and museum officials said destroying the archaeological site was illegal and the construction should be suspended immediately. DHA photo
Historical ruins including a vaulted ceiling were intentionally destroyed yesterday with heavy construction equipment in İnönü Stadium, which is undergoing reconstruction, despite the Istanbul Archaeology Museums’ appointment of archaeologists to inspect the area.
The legendary İnönü Stadium of Beşiktaş, one of Turkey’s biggest football clubs, in the Beşiktaş district along the Bosphorus shore is being replaced with a more modern and lucrative one.
The symbolic beginning of the old stadium’s demolition was marked June 2 when the club’s chairman, Fikret Orman, smashed the first chunk of concrete from the north end’s third tier.
The stadium is being demolished and a new one will be rebuilt 23 meters north of its current location.
However some historical ruins were demolished yesterday, despite the Istanbul Archaeology Museum’s previous notices that construction should stop if any artifacts were found.
Archaeologists made reports and took photos of the ruins and museum officials said destroying the archaeological site was illegal and the construction should be suspended immediately.
The report was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and regional Board of Protection of Cultural Assets; a response from the board to stop the construction.
The same board had issued a verdict May 7 that the construction would stop if any historical ruins were found in the area.
The concept of the new stadium includes new stands. The historical southern façade and western main entrance gate are to be preserved according to the project.
Inside, a colonnade is to encircle the new stands, supporting a cable roof with a membrane cover.
Under the new structure a 600-car parking lot for VIPs is planned.
Debt-ridden Beşiktaş had been planning to renovate İnönü to turn the venue into a more lucrative one, similar to projects by its rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe in recent years.