Egyptian bastions need attention
MERSİN - Anatolia News Agency
Five historic bastions have been built eight kilometers away from the southern province of Tarsus’ Gülek district to provide the road security against the Ottomans. AA photosThe Bastions of İbrahim Paşa, which were built by the Egyptian governor Kavalalı Mehmet Paşa’s son İbrahim Paşa in the southern province of Tarsus’ Gülek district, are in need of restoration, according to mayor Tekin Çelik. İbrahim Paşa, who revolted against the Ottoman State and occupied the Çukuorova region, built the bastions in order to provide security along the road.
The bastions were built 63 kilometers away from Tarsus and eight kilometers away from the district between 1832 and 1839, Gülek Mayor Çelik said. He complained that three of the five bastions were covered with earth and claimed they had been neglected and left to deteriorate by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board. Citizens often carry out illegal excavations in the area, Çelik said.
The bastions should undergo restoration without destroying their cultural tissue, and be taken under ministry protection, Çelik said.
“Especially the Kızıl Bastion, which is located in the entrance of the Elmalı Strait, has a magnificent view. Also, you cannot realize the bastions underground, but they were built with great labor. They were made of bullet-proof stones, observation and ventilation windows and covered with earth. Kızıl bastion and Ak Bastion are two of them, but are neglected today and in disrepair. They should be taken under restoration and protection,” Çelik said.
According to Çelik, the local municipality does not have the resources to restore the bastions on their own. “Even though they are located in the forestry area, the Culture and Tourism Ministry is responsible for their restoration and maintenance. Unfortunately, I cannot say they pay attention. This is our bleeding wound. But I hope these historic structures will be taken into consideration again and the region’s potential will be evaluated,” he said.
One of the bastions is currently involved in a small border dispute, Çelik said. “There is a problem of a border disagreement in regards to the Kızıl bastion. The Pozantı District Headquarters, Pozantı Governor’s Office and Akçatekir Municipality say a bastion lies within their borders. Of course we have made our neighboring map and it was approved by the ministry. According to this map, the bastion is within our borders. But it is Pozantı and Akçatekir municipalities that worked for the area to have the title of historic artifact. We don’t claim that this bastion belongs to us. If these municipalities want to restore it, there is no problem for us. We will support them in thecase of such a decision. We want to keep these places for the next generations.”