Restoration to start at quake-hit assets

Restoration to start at quake-hit assets

Restoration to start at quake-hit assets

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy met on March 14 with industry representatives in the tent set up at the Hatay Archaeology Museum in the quake-hit province of Hatay.

Ersoy said that they had started to carry out the decisions made within the scope of the Hatay Cultural Heritage Survival Project.

Stating that the Culture and Tourism Ministry has an emergency disaster prevention plan prepared by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, Ersoy said, “Within the scope of this plan, the actions to be taken in case of a disaster are ready for all the museums and archaeological sites across Türkiye.”

“Procedures, such as which team from which city will intervene in which quake-damaged museum, which experts will come, and where extra security personnel will be sent, have been determined in this plan. We tested it well after this earthquake. The teams reached the damaged museums and ruins in 11 cities without delay. We are currently carrying out damage assessments of our cultural assets in 10 cities. We already come to an end,” he added.

Ersoy noted that 78-person teams, affiliated with the General Directorate of Foundations, are working in Hatay, and especially the damage assessments of cultural assets within the body of the Culture and Tourism Ministry have been completed.

Ersoy also stated that warning signs have been put on the ruins of assets belonging to private persons to prevent the removal of debris of these structures.

“Works will be carried out under the control and supervision of the Culture and Tourism Ministry both during the debris removal works and reconstruction of these assets. I visited many places today. There are also heavily damaged, destroyed and slightly damaged areas. In the first stage, we will start the restoration of the public buildings and cultural properties throughout Hatay as of March.”

Stating that as of next week, they will start contacting the owners of registered buildings, Ersoy said, “Because we need their approval as they are privately owned. We will create an action plan with them. We allocated a fund both for the buildings belonging to the General Director of Foundations and for the buildings belonging to the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums. We will initiate works as soon as possible. We will also make adjustments to our regulations regarding privately-owned properties. We will provide them with both financial and technical support.”

Explaining that they will implement a different method they used in metropolitan cities, Ersoy said, “We will create a cultural road route for Hatay and Antakya and restore all registered structures on these routes. Here, we need to write a new story for Antakya and Hatay. This story should be a culture, gastronomy and tourism-based story. We need to take the first step.”

Stating that there are many mosques belonging to the General Directorate of Foundations in Hatay, Ersoy said: “We also have registered mosques that do not belong to the General Directorate of Foundations. We also take responsibility for all of them. Likewise, there is another feature of Hatay and Antakya; this place is the meeting point of religions. We also have synagogues here. We will take responsibility for all registered structures in this region. Our goal is to quickly revive these places in less than a year.”

Following the meeting, Ersoy visited the Sarımiye Mosque, the Habibi Neccar Mosque and the Habibi Neccar Foundation Cultural Mansions, Ulus Mosque, the Jewish Synagogue, Uzun Bazaar, the Hatay Parliament Building, the Hatay City Museum and the Necmi Asfuroğlu Archaeology Museum.