ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Isa Bey Bath in Sarajevo will be the first Ottoman structure to be restored by the general directorate. Hürriyet photos
he General Directorate of Foundations will begin restoration work in the Balkans, which is home to many Ottoman foundation structures.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, the general director Adnan Ertem said the first restoration work would start in Bosnia Herzegovina, where the Isa Bey Turkish Bath is located. The translation of the project documents, prepared by Bosnian officials, is continuing, and “when the translation is done, restoration work will start in June,” he said.
Ertem said that as parallel to the work in Bosnia, the restoration of Dükkanlar Önü Mosque and a dervish lodge in Turkish Cyprus would also begin simultaneously. The projects will represent the first time that the General Directorate of Foundations will have carried out restoration projects abroad.
Applications have also been made to restore the Fethiye Mosque in Athens, Greece, but “Greece has not replied yet,” Ertem said.
Ertem said they had carried out a three to four year foundation inventory projects ahead of commencing work on the projects in Bosnia Herzegovina. After completing the inventory work they focused on foundation structures in Bosnia and Turkish Cyprus. “With this experience, we will progress faster in other countries. We will then start working for restorations in Macedonia and Kosovo. There are many foundation structures there, especially in Prizren.”
“The Ottomans built many foundation structures in Skopje and Sarajevo. But most of them do not exist anymore … I want to restore and revive all foundation structures in the Balkans, in Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece
and Albania. I want these countries to see that Turkey owns its structures,” he said.
Ertem said the second week of May would be celebrated as the week of foundations and that this year’s theme would be “Balkan Foundations.” He said that they would organize symposiums during the week and discuss foundation structures in the Balkans and prepare reports on them.
Speaking about the restoration works in Turkey, Ertem also said the restoration that started in 2008 in Istanbul’s Fatih Mosque, which was damaged during the 1999 Marmara earthquake, would finish on May 29.
He also said that the restoration work continued in Istanbul’s Mihrimah Sultan Mosque and Beyazıt Mosques. “We will complete restorations in the Nusretiye and Mahmutpaşa mosques, and the works in Bursa’s Yeşil Mosque will end next week.”