Southeastern Castle set to undergo restoration
Mardin Castle has been closed to visitors for nearly 25 years, and is scheduled to undergo restoration for first time in 220 years. Also known as the “Eagle’s Nest,” the castle is last partially restored in the era of Ottoman Sultan Selim III (1761–1808). It will now reopen in 2014 after a series of new restorations.
Restoration of the Mardin Castle in the southeastern province of Mardin is gaining momentum, the local mayor has told the Anatolia News agency.
According to a recent report by daily Radikal, Justice and Development Party (AKP) Mardin deputy Gönül Bekin Şahkulubey revealed that restoration attempts at the castle had been repeatedly postponed due to a NATO radar contained within the castle walls. “The real owner of the place is NATO,” Şahkulubey said. “We didn’t know that when we first demanded the restoration. At least we didn’t know that we had to follow NATO criteria on the issue.”
Nevertheless, Mardin Mayor Mehmet Beşir Ayanoğlu has announced that the castle will shortly be restored, indicating a solution to the NATO radar issue.
Mardin Castle has been closed to visitors for nearly 25 years, and is scheduled to undergo restoration for first time in 220 years. Also known as the “Eagle’s Nest,” the castle was last partially restored in the era of Ottoman Sultan Selim III (1761–1808). It will now reopen in 2014 after a series of new restorations. Excavation works are also planned to start, which will help discover historical aspects of the site.
Mayor Ayanoğlu said the restoration project was currently being examined by Istanbul Technical University. Its tender will be made in August, while the restoration will start in September.
“Within the project, reinforcements will be made against the danger of rock fall in the castle. For the works, starting in September, nearly 15 to 20 million Turkish Liras are going to be provided. There is also a mosque included in the castle, which the project also includes. We are putting a very significant project into effect, so I am thankful to everyone who has put their efforts into this project. We aim to finish the project by the end of 2014,” said Ayanoğlu.
“We want Mardin to shine out like a star as a world city and to manage this, we are working hard in every field. We are striving to introduce this historical city to global public opinion and give the city its deserved place in the world,” he said, adding that Mardin Castle had hosted many different civilizations over its long history.
‘We expect a dramatic rise in number of visitors’
The castle is 1200 meters above sea level and 600 meters from the earth, it is the highest point overlooking the old town of Mardin, which rises on the side of the hill. Mardin Cultural Director Davut Beliktay said the restoration works were very important for the town.
“The castle, which has been closed to visitors will open its doors after many years. I believe people will like it. We are expecting a dramatic rise in the number of visitors. When the natural restoration works are over, we will start with the excavation works. The churches, palaces and mosques in the castle are going to be brought into the realm of tourism. When they climb up to the castle, people will be able to realize the significance of it better,” Beliktay said.
“On the way to nearby Deyrulzafaran Monastery, there is also a historical artifact called the Maiden’s Castle,” he added.