ANTALYA - Anatolia News Agency
Efforst to add Alanya Castle, also called ‘The sultan of the two seas’ to the UNESCO World Heritage list is the result of a decade of work and it is still going on, says an expert
Alanya Castle is located on a peninsula extending from the Taurus Mountains to the Mediterranean region and is 250 meters above sea level. AA photos
Alanya’s 2,000-year-old castle will join the UNESCO World Heritage List within a year following a series of renovations to restore the ancient structure and convert part of it into an open-air museum.
The tourist district in the southern province of Antalya
hopes to pass on the area’s rich collection of historical treasures onto subsequent generations by having them added to the U.N. list, the head of the Alanya Museum, Seher Türkmen, recently told Anatolia news agency.
“Having a place on the World Heritage List means those places are very unique,” she said. “Thus, more people will recognize and visit you, and conscious and total protection will be provided. When you are added to the list, you are given a coat of arms, but it is not just a coat of arms; but rather proof you possess a global asset.” Works began 19 years ago
Work on the castle began 10 years ago but accelerated in the last two years.
The castle is located on a peninsula extending from the Taurus Mountains to the Mediterranean region and is 250 meters above sea level, according to Türkmen.
“Hellenistic, Roman, Selçuk, Ottoman and the present day’s marks are together in this castle,” the museum director said, but noted that the structure enjoyed its golden days during the Selçuk era.
After conquering the castle, Selçuk Emperor Alaaddin Keykubat introduced some significant monuments like the “Red Tower” and a dockyard, which continues to be connected to the Mediterranean Sea.
“After the conquest of Alanya, Keykubat gave the name ’the sultan of the two seas’ to the castle. In his epigraphs, Keykubat used Alanya Castle with this name,” Türkmen said. The peninsula that Alanya Castle is located on is surrounded by 6.5-kilometer-long ramparts and nearly 100 bastions. Türkmen said they had opened the area to visitors and that 500 people resided in the area.
In order to be added to the World Heritage List, the dockyard was renovated so that it could be opened for visitors, Türkmen said, adding that they had transformed the dockyard into an open-air museum where the defensive equipment was on display.
Alanya Castle is being evaluated together with its adjacent residential region, Türkmen said, adding that they had titled their UNESCO application “Alanya, a historical town” at the beginning of the year.
A group from the UNESCO World Cultural and Heritage Committee will visit Antalya
in September to examine the prepared application to evaluate the criteria. The committee is also expected to prepare a report that will be evaluated by 21 countries’ representatives at a World Cultural Heritage meeting.
There are currently nearly 900 World Cultural Heritage sites in the world, Türkmen said. “I hope we are going to see Alanya Castle on the World Heritage List in 2013,” she said.