Controversial new building slammed as ‘visual pollution’ at 700-year-old Seljuk tomb
The historic tomb was built 700 years ago by Seljuk ruler Melik Izeddin for his daughter Halime Hatun. AA PhotoA dormitory building that was built seven years ago has triggered controversy in the eastern town of Van, with many questioning its location as “visual pollution” right next to a 700-year-old Seljuk tomb.
Hundreds of people have taken to Twitter in recent days to complain about the modern buildings surrounding the Tomb of Halime Hatun in the Gevaş district of Van, saying they are an eyesore that disrespects history and decreases the touristic value of the place.
Gevaş Mayor Sinan Hakan, from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has also expressed his discomfort with the buildings, calling for the demolition of the dormitory. “This is an image that destroys history. For me, it is murder. This building should absolutely be removed. I’m happy that the issue is on the agenda again,” Hakan said.
The tomb was built 700 years ago by Seljuk ruler Melik Izeddin for his daughter Halime Hatun. It is located alongside another important historical site in Gevaş, the Seljuk Cemetery, and draws the attention of both foreign and Turkish tourists.
The Turkish Housing Development Administration (TOKİ), which works under the Prime Minister’s Office, rejected claims that it built the dormitory. “The purpose of this news, which doesn’t conform with media principles, is to damage our management and the positive public image of TOKİ. Our citizens shouldn’t give credit to these kinds of incorrect news,” it said in a written statement.