Minister hopes to give new good news

Minister hopes to give new good news

VAN - Anatolia News Agency
Minister hopes to give new good news

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay takes photos in Van during his visit to the city. DHA photo

Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay has told Anatolia news agency that he will announce the return of a number of artifacts to Turkey before the end of the year.

Speaking about the works carried out by the ministry for the return of stolen artifacts to Turkey, Günay said many artifacts had been smuggled abroad during inconsistent periods in the region.

“It was the same in Iraq, too. Maybe Syria is on the verge of a similar threat. Artifacts have been illegally taken from this land to the West for 200 years. We are trying to cooperate with other countries in the region in order to get them back, but this requires consistent administrations in these countries. This is why the current situation in Iraq and Syria is preventing our work for collaboration,” Günay said, while visiting the eastern province of Van. “We also have work ongoing with countries like Iran and Bulgaria for the protection of historic artifacts. I cannot say for sure that we have got positive results, but we have made some initial contract.”

Günay said he would not share details with the public before they became concrete, as he did not wish to inflate expectations. “I hope that we will bring good news to Turkey before the New Year. Turkey has many artifacts abroad and we are working to get them back. But foreign museums are also working to not return them. This is why we need to take careful steps.”

Project to preserve Genoa Castle

Günay said the department had also been working on a preservation project for the Genoese Castle to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, stressing that a country could also propose artifacts in other countries to UNESCO.

He said they had also started a common project with Ukraine, and that they were working with Iran to revive all caravanserais as eating, drinking and accommodation places, from the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne to Tabriz and Esfahan in Iran.