Edirne’s historical mansions renovated

Edirne’s historical mansions renovated

EDİRNE - Anadolu Agency
Edirne’s historical mansions renovated

The mansions in Edirne are unique examples of civil architecture. They will be opened to visitors after restoration. AA photos

Edirne, a city which attracts many tourists for its history and Ottoman palaces, is set to restore its ancient mansions thanks to a new project headed by the Culture and Tourism Ministry. The mansions, which will later open to visitors, are unique examples of civil architecture. Given that only some of the 45 mansions are currently in use, only the sections requiring restoration will be focused on in the project.

Culture and Tourism Provincial Manager İrfan Özcan said the mansions used to belong to non-Muslim Turkish citizens, and became damaged over the years. “They need a real restoration and renewal,” he added.

Locals living in Edirne are also supporting the project, Özcan said, adding that it was the ministry that had prepared the Edirne mansions restoration project.

Noting that the project was prepared after appeals from owners of the old mansions, Özcan said the ministry had decided to support the project. Özcan added that the project had been originally conceptualized by Natural and Environmental Cultural Entity Protection Foundation.

“The support will vary based upon the state and features of the house,” he said. “If the assistance loan is not enough, we will attempt to obtain a loan from TOKİ, the Housing Development Administration of Turkey.”

Özcan said that there were many people restoring their homes by way of support gained from TOKİ. Edirne has many touristic attractions, of which the mansions will become a part, he said, as history was lying within these mansions. There are many historical mansions that lie in the historical area, most of which have been converted into hotels, he added.

HDN Recent restorations

The restoration of Edirne Palace, where Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II planned his conquest of Istanbul and which was subsequently set on fire by Governor Cemil Pasha before the Russian occupation in 1878, is still ongoing, daily Sabah has reported.

Eralier Mustafa Özer, the head of the Edirne “Yeni Saray” excavations, has announced that items such as kitchen utensils that were found in recent excavations, shed light on the Ottoman cuisine culture, referring to Matbah-ı Amire (palace kitchens).

Özer said the excavations in the area between the Matbah-ı Amire and the Tuna River have been carried out since 2009.

Ottoman kitchens

“We think the kitchen utensils that have been found are mostly associated with the Ottoman palace’s kitchen, the Matbah-ı Amire. A huge spoon from the 15th century caught our attention the most,” he said, adding that the restoration, documentation and conservation were still continuing alongside the excavations.

The findings were cleaned at the excavation sites in order to for them to be added to the inventory.

Excavations are also continuing in the “su maksemi” (water distribution pools), which were used during the Ottoman period. Some pieces of marble epigraphs that gave clues as to the palace’s construction year have recently been found. “Our aim is to complete the other pieces of the epigraph to find out which part it belongs to,” Özer said.