Mayor M. Ergün Turan Relates Suriçi Fatih at UNESCO Meeting

absmiddle Yazdır   -A | A+ 04.07.2019
Attending as speaker to 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee, which was organized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Baku, the capital of Republic of Azerbaijan, Fatih Municipality Mayor M. Ergün Turan highlighted the importance of creating an efficient and effective balance between preserving and utilizing historical works.

A panel discussion titled “Rethinking Impact Assessment: The Example of Istanbul” was held under the 43rd Session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee, organized in Baku and hosted by Azerbaijan. 

Fatih Municipality Mayor M. Ergün Turan said the only World Heritage Site in Istanbul is located within the borders of Fatih District and that he is fortunate to be entrusted with these unique historical and cultural values even though this brings about great responsibility.

Mayor Turan mentioned that he previously attended the World Heritage Committee Sessions held in St. Petersburg and Cambodia as part of his job, whereby he witnessed the principles of protection and work adopted by World Heritage Committee.  

Mayor M. Ergün Turan said, “We are doing our best to conduct our works in collaboration with our Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Area Department of Istanbul Historical Sites and UNESCO and to take action together in order to fulfill the requirements of World Heritage Agreement which we are party to for protecting the universal values of Historical Peninsula World Heritage Sites and for handing them over to future generations”. 

Mentioning that Turkey's heart is Istanbul and Istanbul’s heart is Suriçi (Walled City) Fatih and that it houses all major investments, Mayor Turan said, “Here the important thing is to maintain the balance between protection and utilization and to make sure the objects to be protected and the users benefit from each other in the most efficient and effective way. I’d like to emphasize at this point that users need to be protected as well. We know that in this sense, our job is difficult. If we can incorporate KÜMED (Legislation on Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment), which is a negotiation process encompassing the entire span of major projects to the system in the right place at the right time, we’ll have the chance to transform possible risks and negative impacts on the World Heritage Site into positive impact or to an advantage. On the other hand, considering KÜMED to be a guide and a tool as to how to manage the threats and pressure for change faced by the whole world with regard to areas mentioned in the World Heritage List or internalizing it as party states isn’t enough. Therefore, we are aware the requirement of improving all these workshops and their results, the guide and the legislation and of incorporating the definitions mentioned in the international legislation to national legislation as well will surely be beneficial for our municipality and will facilitate the fulfilment of our duties. We’ll continue to extend support for future works. I’d like to thank to UNESCO, our Area Department and Permanent Representative’s Office for the steps taken in this regard”.

The panel discussion was attended by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNESCO Turkey Permanent Representative Ahmet Altay Cengizer, Istanbul Protected Areas Area Management President Dr. Halil Onur, Fatih Municipality Mayor M. Ergün Turan, Ambassador of Turkey in Baku Erkan Özoral, UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Mechtild Rössler and UNESCO World Heritage Committee Europe and North America Unit Chief Isabelle Anatole Gabriel.