Probe opens into ‘SpongeBob’ castle in Istanbul

Probe opens into ‘SpongeBob’ castle in Istanbul

Probe opens into ‘SpongeBob’ castle in Istanbul

DHA photo

A probe opened into the controversial restoration of a castle dating back 2,000 years in Istanbul’s northern coastal district of Şile, which has been criticized for resembling cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.

The Istanbul 6th Protection Board has stated an investigation into the claims on Aug. 27 when the board members personally received information from the renovation team at the Şile Municipality. The board members will prepare a report after completing their investigation.

Şile Municipality Project Manager Adem Avgın said the historical building was chosen in 2010 for renovation. He said that it was not a conservation project but rather a renovation of the building, which was under the risk of demolition. 

Social media users mocked the work done on the castle, with some likening it to SpongeBob SquarePants and others to something out of popular videogame Minecraft.

CHP Istanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş filed a parliamentary question to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, asking, “Is this the importance the AKP [Justice and Development Party] municipalities give to our historic and cultural heritage? Why has the historic building been torn from its original look and lost its spirit?”

Yarkadaş said the restoration process “more accurately resembled constructing a completely new building rather than restoring it.” 

“Is an inquiry about the issue going to be opened?” Yarkadaş asked in his query, while also questioning how much money had been spent on the restoration. The Şile Municipality did not comment on the specifics of the restoration process.