‘Cultural assets in risky areas should be moved’

‘Cultural assets in risky areas should be moved’

Umut Erdem - ANKARA
‘Cultural assets in risky areas should be moved’

The Parliamentary Earthquake Commission has advised that cultural structures that are in danger of collapsing due to liquefication on their grounds should be moved via a wheeled platform.

The commission, which was established after the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes in the southern part of the country, submitted its 935-page report to Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop last week.

In the report, determinations and recommendations were listed for the protection of cultural assets against risk of an earthquake.

The commission underlined that historical structures that are in risk of liquefaction on their floors or whose foundations are not earthquake resistant due to several other reasons should be moved to safer areas.

Offering a suggestion on a method during the relocation process, the commission cited the 656-year-old Zeynel Bey Shrine, which was moved six years ago by being placed on a wheeled platform.

The shrine in Hasankeyf, the historical district of the southeastern province of Batman that was flooded due to the opening of a new dam, was moved from the district in 2017.

The transportation process of the 1,100 ton tomb was carried out with the project prepared by Dutch and Turkish companies, while the historical shrine was transferred with a method used for the first time in Türkiye.

The shrine, which was loaded onto a 192-wheeled platform, was taken to the new Hasankeyf Culture Park, two kilometers away.

Stating that the same method can be applied against the earthquake risk, the commission recommended that the necessary studies should be initiated.

“Feasibility studies should be conducted on integrating seismic insulators into the basic system of the structure, as was done for the first time in the Zeynel Bey Shrine for an ancient artifact in Türkiye,” the report said.

“As in the case of transporting and saving the monumental works found in Hasankeyf, the transfer of monuments to more suitable ground conditions should be done by considering the age of historical structures and the conditions of their new locations within the framework of universal conservation principles,” the commission explained.

The devastating earthquake in early February caused a massive destruction to numerous historical structures, especially in the southern city of Hatay’s Antakya’s district.

Many mosques, churches and historical structures received major damage and became unserviceable.

risky, cultural artifacts,