Istanbul’s historic peninsula to be protected

Istanbul’s historic peninsula to be protected

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Istanbul’s historic peninsula to be protected

Istanbul’s historic peninsula comprises of the oldest parts of the city. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

Istanbul’s Metropolitan Municipal Council yesterday unanimously approved plans to help conserve the city’s historic peninsula, which contains numerous structures and works from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods.

“None of the unlicensed buildings inside the historical walls will be left standing... Any works lost, burnt or in ruins have also been incorporated into the plan,” said Sefer Kocabaş, head of the Public Works and Construction Commission. 

The Conservation Council has meanwhile annulled proposed projects for building car parks near those buildings categorized as historic structures of the first degree, while construction works in vicinity of the Yerebatan Sarnıcı (Basilica Cistern) have been restricted, according to reports. 

“Long hours were spent in the planning office. This plan passed through our municipal council before going to the conservation council. It has now been returned to us after receiving the conservation council’s approval. This is a very important project for Istanbul,” said Ergun Turan, the group deputy president of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). 

Green spaces near historic structures were also considered in plans to help conserve the area. 
Istanbul is listed on UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage Site, including the Süleymaniye and Sultanahmet quarters, along with the Zeyrek area and its surroundings, Kocabaş added.

Mehmet Yıldız, a municipal council member from the opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP), said conservation proposals for the area had been drawn up in part since the 1980s and expressed his disappointment it had taken so long for such plans to be brought forth.