Ottoman structures victim of Arab Spring

Ottoman structures victim of Arab Spring

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Ottoman structures victim of Arab Spring

The Süleymaniye complex in Syria will be restored after the situation improves in the country.

Restoration of Turkish architectural structures in Syria has been stopped by the Arab Spring, which has changed the fate of the Middle East and some Arab countries.

The Turkish International and Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) Middle East and Africa Department Chairman Enver Arpa said Turkey had worked on projects for the restoration and preservation of cultural heritage sites in Syria.

Süleymaniye complex was the first of these projects and a cooperation protocol was signed in previous years between Turkey and Syria for the preservation of the complex, he said. But despite the protocol, the restoration works that should have started this year would not be realized because of political developments in Syria, Arpa added.

Arpa said the Turkish office in Syria remained open, although the current atmosphere in the country prevented the opportunity to carry out the project. Restoration would start when the conditions improved in the country, he added.

The Süleymaniye complex is on an area of 7,000 square meters. The project plans to restore the whole complex. Four parts make up the complex: Süleymaniye Mosque, Selimiye Madrasah, an almshouse and an Ottoman bazaar. The mosque, which has been closed to worship, will open after the restoration.
Among the other structures in need of restoration in Syria were the minaret of Adiliye Mosque and an Ottoman cemetery, Arpa said.