Turkey’s UNESCO heritage sites inadequate, says official
“However, the league in which we are, the place in which we exist is not this. Why? Because we are a crossroads country. North, South, East and West every civilization meets each other in our geography,” Oğuz said.
“Our geography is a geography which founded civilizations.”
Oğuz said the number of sites in countries on the UNESCO list like the U.S., China, France, Spain, Italy and Germany has reached 30 or 40.
In this sense, it could be said that the number of Turkey’s sites on the list is inadequate, Oğuz said.
He said the number of Turkey’s UNESCO heritage sites had risen rapidly in recent years, with half of those on the list accepted in the last eight years.
Oğuz said that in the past, it was possible to present three, four or five sites a year, but UNESCO has now introduced quotas and each country can submit only one site per year for the heritage list.
He said Turkey has 77 sites on the tentative list, the most for any country.
But because of the quota, it will take 77 years for Turkey to submit all of the sites on this list, even if no other site is added on the tentative list, Oğuz added.
Turkey is fifth on the list of countries in terms of the number of intangible cultural heritage elements on UNESCO’s list, Oğuz said.
Intangible cultural heritage is a type of cultural heritage which includes oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festivals, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts, according to UNESCO’s official website.
Intangible cultural heritage includes two lists: one is a representative list and the other is an urgent safeguarding list, Oğuz said.
The Kızılırmak Delta Wetland and Bird Sanctuary will be evaluated in 2019 and, if appropriate, will be included among UNESCO’s World Heritage sites as Turkey’s first natural heritage site on the list, he noted.