Turkish president vows to preserve historical artifacts
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
President Erdoğan and Culture Minister Çelik visited the restored parts of Topkapı Museum following the ceremony on Jan. 12. AA PhotoTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pledged his support to the preservation of historical artifacts on Jan. 12, vowing to closely follow their restoration and revival both at home and abroad.
The president’s remarks came during an opening ceremony for the newly-restored sections of the Topkapı Palace Museum in Istanbul.
“We are the representatives of a nation that has been broken off from its own history,” said Erdoğan, adding that he believed historical sites like Topkapı Palace served an important function for the country’s new generation.
Thanking those who contributed to the restoration of the palace, Erdoğan said it was a responsibility to preserve the museum, as it had a spiritual sense beyond being a historical piece.
“We have to carry this place to the future generations in its material and spiritual senses,” he added.
The Topkapı Palace Museum – one of Istanbul’s top tourist destinations and once home to the Ottoman sultans – hold a number of special historical items and an archive of 300,000 documents. The six-hundred-year-old palace was converted into a museum in 1924, the year after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey.
Erdoğan said historical and cultural structures had not been meticulously preserved in the past, and recalled his sensitivity over the protection and revival of historical pieces during his period as Turkey’s prime minister.
He said many historical pieces housed in Western countries’ museums have been collected from the region. “We will closely monitor all efforts to restore and retrieve historical artifacts,” he added.