Women in charge of protecting historical sites in Istanbul
Women take more responsibility in restoration of Istanbul’s landmarks, with the number of the female archaeologists, engineers and city planners reaching half of the total number of experts of the metropolis’ restoration team, the daily Milliyet has reported.
“Women in charge of protecting historical sites in Istanbul,” the daily headlined on June 20.
Publishing a feature story on women restoration experts, the daily highlighted, “These women work to transmit the city history to the next generations.”
“Historical places have always been in my field of interest, and I am such a lucky person that I am working at those places,” Songül Çelik, a field coordinator of the metropolitan municipality’s team, told the daily.
In her words, having a touch on Istanbul’s venues, such as Anadolu Hisarı (Anatolian Castle), Rumeli Hisarı (Rumelia Castle), Kadıköy and Taksim, is a “very beautiful feeling.”
Serap Şahin is a restoration expert on the team, who said “maintenance on a historical site is like childcare.”
“We work closely with historical sites, so they are like our children. When I see a damaged site, I become saddened,” she added.
Çelik made the same comparison, saying, “When a restoration work is finished, the site then becomes your child.”
When asked if she is happy to be in the team, Şahin highlighted that she is more than happy.
“I am proud to be in this dedicated team. The women in the team spend most of their times working their guts out for historical buildings,” she expressed.
Büşra Öztürk is a five-month pregnant architect on the team.
“Being pregnant does not mean stepping aside,” she said and added: “Besides, we get a chance to contribute to social life with our differences.”
Merve Gedik, the head of the project department of the metropolitan municipality’s cultural property directorate, remarked about the need for the women experts working in the cultural and heritage sites: “Because working on such sites needs sensitiveness and care.”
Saying that many female specialists are working on sites like the Basilica Cistern, the city walls in the golden Horn, she underlined that the renovation works in the Rumelia Castle were conducted by three women architects.