Ephesus excavations canceled
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoDiplomatic tension between Austria and Turkey has brought about an early halt to this year’s archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Ephesus, which are carried out by the Austrian Archaeology Institute.
With a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the excavations were cancelled two months before scheduled.
Led by Austrian Associate Professor Sabine Ladstatter, the works started in the beginning of this year focused on environmental arrangements, protection, restoration and conservation, as well as promotion. With the decision of the Foreign Ministry, works were delivered by Selçuk Ephesus Museum Director Cengiz Topal and Culture and Tourism Ministry officials.
It was reported that the excavation house used by the Austrian team might be sealed according to the instructions of the ministry.
The course of diplomatic tension between the two countries will determine whether the Austrian excavation team will be given permission for the next year’s works in the ancient city.
Tension between Turkey and Austria started when a ticker at the Vienna Airport in July read: “With a vacation in Turkey, you will only support [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan,” and grew when the same ticker displayed a news headline claiming that Turkey would allow children under 15 years old to be sexually abused following a Constitutional Court decision.