Thousands of heritage artifacts restored in 13 years
KONYA – Anadolu AgencyBetween 2002 and 2015, nearly 4,000 cultural and historical artifacts across Turkey have been restored, according to General Directorate of Foundations Director Adnan Ertem.
A number of Seljuk and Ottoman era artifacts in Turkey and the Middle East, including khans, Turkish baths, mosques, fountains, bridges and vaults have been revived in recent years through restoration works carried out by the General Directorate of Foundations.
Speaking in a recent interview, Ertem said Turkey had completed a large number of very important restorations since 2002, adding, “We made the restorations of some 4,000 cultural heritage artifacts in Turkey over the last 13 years. We have 250 worksites every year, which is a very important number. We can increase this number but it is limited to 250 in order to carry out high-quality restorations under more control.”
Ertem said they would finish the restoration of all artifacts, most of which were mosques. “We give priority to mosques to meet people’s need for worship. We get the projects for other artifacts done. Almost all projects are done. Even if the artifacts have collapsed, we can build the original.”
He said Istanbul was the richest Turkish city in terms of cultural heritage artifacts and the restoration of all historical structures, except Sultanahmet Mosque, had been finished in the city.
Ertem said they had recently focused on the restoration of structures in the northwestern province of Edirne and the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
“We will continue their restoration within the bounds of possibility. I believe there won’t be a need for that much restoration work in the future. No mosque needs restoration right now. We have madrasahs and baths that need restoration. We also have old artifacts that have perished throughout history. There are projects to reach their photos and restore them, too,” he said.
Ertem said the work at the Hisarbey Bath in Bosnia and Herzegovina was their first restoration abroad, and it had been reopened.
“We have two more restorations tenders in Bosnia. Three restorations in Kosovo and one in Macedonia continue. The tender for three important artifacts will be made, too. Now we are working on it. We focus on the Balkans abroad; we can easily work there. We also have work in Yemen,” he said.