Topkapı Palace not sliding, says minister
Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has denied claims Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace was sliding toward the sea, after he made a visit to the Ottoman-era palace and obtained information from officials.
“This is completely a speculation. The palace remains in its exact place,” he said.
Stating that the Topkapı Palace is a venue representing the pinnacle of Ottoman architecture and art, Kurtulmuş gave information about the ongoing restoration works in the palace.
“Topkapı Palace is undergoing the most comprehensive restoration work in its history. At the moment, nearly 20 projects are continuing and the restoration project has a budget of 200 million Turkish Liras. On the one hand, works are carried out to keep the original integrity of the palace, and on the other hand, new exhibition areas are being created. There are lots of valuable artifacts in the storages of the palace; unfortunately we can display only a few of these artifacts,” the minister said.
Kurtulmuş said works are also continuing to richen the museum and exhibition sections of the palace. “In the first seven months of the year, the number of tourists visiting the palace increased when compared to last year. Topkapı Palace is our most important cultural heritage. The restoration works are going very well,” he added.
When asked about claims that there were cracks in the palace and that it was sliding toward the sea, Kurtulmuş said, “It is just a speculation. Topkapı Palace is not sliding even one centimeter. All works have been done and reports have been made. The palace remains in its exact place. Such wrong rumors should not be given credit to.”
“We focus on working in two main fields to increase Turkey’s tourism revenues. One is diversity in the market. We need to turn toward new markets like China, Japan and India. We need to work to bring tourists from these countries. The other is to diversify products such as sea tourism, health tourism, faith tourism and winter tourism. I hope that we will reach 50 million tourists and $50 billion in tourism revenues,” Kurtulmuş said when asked about the increase of tourism revenues.
As for the restoration of Hagia Eireni, Kurtulmuş said comprehensive works have been done and they pushed the start button for its restoration.