Turkish president praises Rome for preserving history
DHA PhotoTurkish President Abdullah Gül has spoken in awe of Rome’s success in preserving its historical sites, following his return from a visit to Italy.
“Rome, which is called the Eternal City, is the richest open-air museum in the world,” Gül wrote on Twitter on Feb. 1, enclosing photographs with each of his messages.
“The centuries-old magnificent buildings, squares, streets were preserved in a way that there is not a skyscraper or a shopping mall,” he said.
“The only difference of photographs of Rome from centuries ago to today is that there were only horse-drawn carriages instead of cars,” Gül said.
Gül’s tweets were highly circulated, with the one in which he noted the lack of shopping malls in Rome generating more than 8,000 retweets.
The president’s announcements came months after Turkey’s political agenda was rocked by a proposed shopping mall on Istanbul’s historic square.
Millions protested a municipal plan to rebuild artillery barracks, along with a shopping mall, on Istanbul’s central Gezi Park. An initial, small sit-in turned into nationwide anti-government resistance following the police’s crackdown in the park in late May 2013.
The artillery barracks and shopping mall plan was later shelved.