Anatolian watchtowers gather in a small town

Anatolian watchtowers gather in a small town

KARABÜK - Anatolia News Agency
Anatolian watchtowers gather in a small town

The miniature versions of 15 Anatolian watchtowers are being exhibited at an open-air lot spread over a 1,000-square-meter area that opened three months ago in Karabük’s Safranbolu, which is famous for its typical houses. AA photos

Best known for well-preserved, Ottoman-style houses that have long attracted both domestic and foreign tourists, the northern province of Karabük’s Safranbolu district is now attracting visitors with a display of miniature versions of unique Anatolian watchtowers.

The watchtowers were made in 1901 to celebrate Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II’s silver jubilee, for which the sultan ordered the construction of miniature watchtowers throughout Anatolia in his owner.
Currently, the miniature versions of these watchtowers are being exhibited at an open-air lot spread over a 1,000-square-meter area that opened three months ago near the Safranbolu Watchtower, which was built by Grand Vizier İzzet Mehmet Paşa in 1797, which is one of the oldest in Anatolia, Karabük Gov. İzzettin Küçük told Anatolia news agency.

City reflects Ottoman characteristics

Noting that Safranbolu was one of the most important tourist attractions in Turkey, Küçük said it was a typical city reflecting the Ottoman characteristics. “There are many Ottoman-era baths, mosques, fountains, bridges and houses in Safranbolu, and we think that beside them, this open-air museum will add value to the city,” said Küçük.

Since the opening day, the open-air museum has attracted many tourists from Turkey and foreign countries, the governor said. “We decided to open this exhibition especially in an open-air museum to show the beauty of the miniature watchtowers to everyone visiting the town.”

Küçük also said the exhibition emphasized the importance the Ottoman Empire had given to watchtowers. “Town officials decided to establish an open-air museum during the Safranbolu Watchtower and Time Symposium, which was organized on the anniversary of the construction of the Safranbolu Watchtower by Grand Vizier İzzet Mehmet Paşa,” he added.

Anatolian watchtowers gather in a small town

15 watchtowers chosen for the exhibit

“After the decision, a team consisting of experts chose a total of 15 watchtowers to be exhibited in the open-air museum. The chosen miniature watchtowers are each one to three meters in height. They were placed in the open-air museum with great care,” said Küçük.

“Each of the miniature watchtowers has a different story,” he said, adding that they all signified a different era from the imperial period and that museum officials had written the stories next to the watchtowers.

“Thanks to this, visitors can learn the stories of these watchtowers,” he said, adding that the museum was very important for Safranbolu.

“The district’s old town preserves many old buildings and has 1,008 registered historical artifacts. The old town is situated in a deep ravine in a fairly dry area in the rain shadow of the mountains. Watchtowers tell the story of history and historical events. They are perceived as the most important witnesses to history. Each watchtower from the Ottoman Empire era was built to celebrate a [glorious event],” he said.

“That’s why we also have guides to tell the stories of watchtowers at our open-air museum,” said the governor.