Renovations of historic sites in Anatolia not up to par: Foundations head
Meltem ÖZGENÇ ANKARA / Hürriyet
Ertem says Üsküdar’s Cedid Valide Mosque will be renovated.Standards across the country are uneven when it comes to the restoration of historic buildings, the head of Turkey’s foundations umbrella organization has said.
Adnan Ertem, the head of Turkey’s General Directorate of Foundations (VGM), said restorations in Istanbul outranked Turkey’s other cities in terms of quality.
“We don’t get complaints about restorations in Istanbul because the companies do their jobs well. The same companies do not want to work outside Istanbul, but in Anatolia there are too few good companies,” Ertem said.
His words came after a question on criticism that restorations were being carried out too fast and not with enough care.
“All over Turkey, there are some problems in restorations, though not as many as before. There are a few reasons for that. Firstly, we don’t have as many restorations now. We used to have to oversee 3,000-5,000 historic sites urgently, but now there are not so many artifacts requiring urgent work.
Secondly, experience was gained and restorations got better,” Ertem said.
In the last 11 years, the VGM has overseen the restoration of 3,500 historical places and spent 3 billion Turkish Liras.
Ertem said forthcoming projects included the Cedid Valide Mosque in Istanbul’s Üsküdar Square. He described it as “the most important mosque on the Anatolian side of the city.”
“This mosque is to the Anatolian side of Istanbul what the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Blue Mosque, the Beyazıt or the Fatih Mosques are to the European side. We completed the restoration of the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in the same square, and now it’s the Cedid Valide’s turn,” he added.