Turkey certifies its sites on UNESCO heritage list
Ephesos and Diyarbakır Fortress are also likely to enter the UNESCO list later this year.While receiving a certificate documenting two new entries to the UNESCO World Heritage List, Turkey’s Culture Minister Ömer Çelik has voiced Turkey’s eagerness to have more sites inscribed on the list.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova handed over the certificate documenting the entry of Bursa’s Cumalıkızık and İzmir’s Bergama, also known as Pergamon, to Çelik at a ceremony at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara on Jan. 6.
With the files of “Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire” and “Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape” having been added in 2014, the number of Turkey’s cultural sites inscribed on the World Heritage List has increased to 13, Çelik recalled.
“With this development, among 161 countries that have their sites on the World Heritage List, Turkey has risen to the 20th rank. We also have 52 cultural sites that are included on the tentative list,” Çelik said.
Turkey is excited about the nominations of “Ephesus” and “Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens,” which will be reviewed during the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee that will be held in Bonn, Germany in June 2015, he added.
“I hope that when these are also added to the World Heritage List, we will see Ms. Bokova in Turkey again and take over these certificates at a ceremony that we will arrange either in Diyarbakır or Hevsel,” Çelik said.
To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of 10 selection criteria of which the first is to represent a “masterpiece of human creative genius.”