Many historical tower clocks across Türkiye fake: Expert
Salim Uzun - ANTALYA
Amid the controversial issue regarding claims that the clocks on the southern province of Antalya’s clock tower are fake, a watch repairer has claimed that the clocks on many historical towers across Türkiye are also fake.
Recep Gürgen, repairing watches in Türkiye and abroad since 1960, said, “We have been talking about the clock tower in Antalya for a long time but there are many across Türkiye that I had to make new ones for because the originals are not in place.”
Among these are the ones in Istanbul, the capital Ankara and the northern provinces of Amasya and Bilecik, Gürgen said.
“We cannot say these were stolen or sold. Many of these clocks were not able to be repaired as an expert couldn’t be found, and unfortunately, they were broken into pieces or scrapped,” he said.
“I had to rebuild the clockworks in all of these places,” said the watch repairer, known by the locals as “Dr. Clock.”
There are also clocks that were preserved, such as the ones belonging to the towers of the Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul University and Kosova’s Mamusha, but they are in need of repair, Gürgen added.
“There are other historical clocks as well, but they too will succumb to time. Because while the clock towers are being restored, a budget is allocated for the tower, but not for the clock.”
An investigation was initiated by the Antalya Governor’s Office amid the restoration and excavation works in the city’s clock tower regarding the claim that all four clocks on the tower were not original.
Providing information about Antalya’s clock tower, Cemil Karabayram, the head of the Department of Cultural Properties of the governor’s office, said, “It is more appropriate to complete the restoration process with an original part rather than attaching an imitation mechanism to the tower.”
“We found photos of the clock tower from the Ottoman period through archive research. Later, we found a clock mechanism from the same period in a factory in Istanbul,” he said, adding that they made the necessary applications to purchase this mechanism by the state.
Antalya Governor Ersin Yazıcı follows the process personally, Karabayram said.
The historical building, located upon the bastions dating to the Hellenistic period, was built as a clock tower in the early 1900s during the reign of Abdül Hamid II.