Aspendos Arena may be demolished

Aspendos Arena may be demolished

Aspendos Arena may be demolished

The Antalya Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board has decided on the demolition of the Aspendos Arena, built in 2008 near the Aspendos Antique Theater and located in the Belkıs neighborhood of the Serik district.

Turkey’s internationally acclaimed dance troupe, the Fire of Anatolia, has been staging its shows in the 5,000 person capacity theater since then.

“Do they want to go down in history as the board that demolished a theater?” asked Fire of Anatolia general art director Mustafa

The Fire of Anatolia develops Anatolian dances with contemporary styles and has performed at the world renowned Aspendos Antique Theater for some time. The shows were halted in 2008, after plans to restore the 2,000-year-old antique theater.

As a result, the Antalya Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board allowed for the Aspendos Arena to be built on a 1,300-square-meter field by the antique theater.

On Oct. 23, the board decided to demolish the arena, since it was only built as a temporary facility until the antique theater’s restoration was completed.

The board arrived at this decision as the field on which the arena was built had been identified as a third degree archeological site by the Museum Directorate, the Central Directorate for Revolving Funds and the Belkıs Municipality.

With regard to the board’s decision, the renter company instigated a warning on Nov. 8 to the Anadolu Show Education Production and Consultancy Ltd. on behalf of the landowner, Hüseyin Avni Aykol. The warning requested the temporary facility’s removal from the field and was sent to relevant units at the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Antalya Governor’s Office, the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality, the Serik District Governorate and the Serik Municipality.

Following the board’s decision, the art director spoke with Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş.

“The minister has told us he supports us and that this is a wrong decision and that he will fix it. He told us our theater’s new legal status would be recognized and that we should not worry about it, as they are working on it so our shows can continue,” said Erdoğan.

He said they failed to understand how the Antalya Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board could arrive at such a decision.

Every year between April and November, the Fire of Anatolia and Troy alternate performances on the Aspendos Arena’s stage. Thousands of locals and foreign tourists who visit Antalya come to see their performances.