Damaged cultural heritages taken under protection: Ministry

Damaged cultural heritages taken under protection: Ministry

Damaged cultural heritages taken under protection: Ministry

Efforts are underway to assess the damage and ensure the safety of all cultural properties damaged by the earthquakes that hit the country’s south, and every piece broken off the buildings is taken under protection, the Culture and Tourism Ministry has said.

In addition to the teams made up of civil engineers and architect lecturers from universities specializing in antiquities for the damage assessment, protection and restoration of works of art, academic support will be received from other universities, especially Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ), Dokuz Eylül University (DEÜ) and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (MSGSÜ), the ministry’s general directorate of foundations said in a statement.

“No remains will be considered as debris or rubble in all of our structures that keep our civilizations alive, and every piece that is separated from the building will be taken under protection and used in the restorations to be made, in accordance with its original form,” the statement said.

The revival of all structures, from mosques to madrasas, from churches to tombs, has started immediately, it added.

“As a nation that takes care of its history, we thank our citizens for the sensitivity they have shown in this regard, and we ask them to be relieved in their restoration as all our ancient monuments have been protected since the first moment of the earthquake.”

The magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck seven kilometers (4.3 miles) below the surface in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş’s Pazarcık district on Feb. 6 at 4:17 a.m., according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

Hatay Parliament Building, one of the symbol structures of the nearby province which was affected by the quake the most, could not come through the terrible shake. The building, built as a movie theater by French architect Leon Benju in 1927, has taken its place in the pages of history as it was the building where the Hatay State was founded and its decision to join Türkiye was taken.

Deadly earthquakes also destroyed the first mosque built on Anatolian soil. The Habib-i Neccar Mosque was built in the Antakya district and was conquered by the Muslim Arabs in 638.

The historical mosque, whose dome, minaret and some walls were damaged, bore the name of a man who “first believed in the apostles of Jesus and gave his life for this cause.”

Very few buildings in the neighborhood of Şeyhali, where the mosque is located, survived the quakes. The old mansions and historical buildings in the region were destroyed.

The ministry earlier announced that the shake damaged a part of the Hatay Archaeology Museum, where the Neo-Hittite statue of King Suppiluliuma and historical mosaics were exhibited.

Additional personnel were assigned to protect the museum, while solar-powered camera systems were installed in case of an electrical problem.

The historical Greek Orthodox Church in Antakya, the meeting point of different religions, was also heavily damaged in the devastating disaster as the roof of the building and some of its walls completely collapsed.

Turkey, historical artifact,