Süleyman’s Marmaris Castle reopens after restoration work
MUĞLA - Anadolu Agency
The Marmaris Castle was restored using Khorasan soil, which was also used by the Seljuks and Ottomans; during the bastion’s restoration, the exhibit area of the museum was also renovated and four rooms were opened to visits. AA photoMarmaris Castle, which was reconstructed by Süleyman the Magnificent during his expedition against Rhodes, as well as the museum included within it, have been restored and opened to tourism.
The castle was closed to visits a year ago and restoration started with a budget of 657,000 Turkish Liras provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry. The castle was restored using Khorasan soil, which was also used by the Seljuks and Ottomans; during the bastion’s restoration, the exhibit area of the museum was also renovated.
Speaking at the reopening of the castle and museum, Culture and Tourism Ministry official Abdurrahman Arıcı said cultural artifacts should be displayed in the places from which they come, noting that many historic artifacts unearthed in Turkey were previously smuggled abroad and that Turkish officials were struggling to repatriate them.
Arıcı also said they recently prevented the auction of Ottoman gravestones via a British website before bringing the artifacts back to Turkey.
The official said Turkey was emphasizing its potential for cultural tourism in addition to sun, sea and sand, adding that such diversification would allow the country to quickly reach its goal of 50 million tourists a year.
Muğla Gov. Mustafa Hakan Güvençer said many people had hid in the castle against enemies for hundreds of years. “Thank God nobody is waiting for the enemy in the bastions of the castle. We host people from all around the world in the castle. It is very important to have such a significant structure in terms of its spiritual value rather than its economic value.”
Four exhibit rooms of the museum have now opened to visitors. Officials believe that the restoration works in the castle and the museum will increase the number of tourists, which totals close to 60,000 a year.
Castle with a museum
The Marmaris Castle is one of the few castles in Turkey that possess a museum, and it is estimated to have an ultimate history of 5,000 years. According to ancient sources, famous historian Heredotus reports that the first city walls in Marmaris were constructed in 3,000 B.C., although the only written source about the construction of the castle is the Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi’s “Seyahatname” (Book of Travels).
Çelebi, who visited Muğla and its vicinity in the 17th century, says Sultan Süleyman ordered the construction of the castle before his expedition to Rhodes and that the castle served as a military base during the expedition.
An important part of the castle was destroyed during World War I by a French warship. Until 1979, locals of Marmaris inhabited the castle, which is known to include 18 residences, a fountain and a cistern.
The castle was registered as a monumental structure in 1983 and opened as a museum in 1991.