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TC Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı / Ministry of Culture and Tourism
List of World Heritage Areas in Turkey -UNESCO

Turkey on the World Heritage List 

Turkey has signed the World Heritage Convention in 1983 and through the work carried out under the responsibility of the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage and Museums, 9 properties were inscribed on the World heritage List.

Among these properties, 

Historical Areas of İstanbul, 

City of Safranbolu, 

Hattusha (Bogazkoy)- Hittite Capital, 

Nemrut Mountain, 

Xanthos-Lethoon, 

Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi 

Archeological Site of Troy are listed as cultural, while Pamukkale-Hierapolis and Göreme National Park-Rock Sites of Cappadocia are listed both as cultural and natural heritage. 

In Turkey many civilizations were settled beginning from the earliest ages of humanity, signs of which are spread all around the country. The spectacular examples of the natural wonders support this rich cultural heritage. 

Natural and Cultural Properties on the World Heritage List in Turkey 

Historic Areas of Istanbul

Date of Inscription : 6.12.1985

Ref : 356

Criteria : Cultural 

Strategically located on the Peninsula between the Balkans and Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Istanbul has been associated with the major political, religious and artistic events for more than 2000 years. The cultural heritage of Istanbul is shaped by its location as a strategic entrance to Anatolia, central Asia and the Middle East on the on hand, and to Europe on the other. The city of Istanbul, which was built at the crossroads of the two continents, was the capital of three great empires: The East Roman, The Byzantine and the Ottoman. During these periods emperors and sultans, drawing upon the wealth of their realms, embellished the city with palaces, temples, churches and mosques, other public buildings and structures.

“The Historic Areas of Istanbul”, inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1985, are composed of four main areas: The Archaeological Park, Süleymaniye Mosque and its associated Conservation Area, Zeyrek Mosque and its associated Conservation Area, Land Walls of  Istanbul. 

World Heritage Committee examined state of the conservation of Historic Areas of Istanbul at its 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st and 32nd sessions and requested Turkish authorities to submit a progressive report concerning the state of the conservation of the site. Ministry prepared and submitted 5 progressive reports on the state of the conservation of the site in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Final decision will be taken in 2009. 

Göreme National Park and Cappodocia

Date of Inscription :6.12.1985

Ref. : 357

Criteria : Natural / Cultural 

In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns – the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century – can also be seen there. It contains unique natural features and displays a harmonious of natural and cultural landscape elements 

Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi

Dünya Miras Listesine Alınma Tarihi : 6.12.1985 

Liste Sıra No : 358 

Criteria : Cultural

The earliest settlement in Divrigi and its environs goes back to the Hittite Period. In 1228-29 Ahmet Shah and his wife Turan Melek founded a mosque, with its adjoining hospital, at Divrigi during the Mengucekogullari Period. The mosque has a single prayer room and is crowned by two cupolas. The highly sophisticated technique of vault construction, and a creative, exuberant type of decorative sculpture - particularly on the three doorways, in contrast to the unadorned walls of the interior - are the unique features of this masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

Hattusha (Bogazkoy)-The Hittite Capital

Date of Inscription : 28.11.1986 

Ref. : 377 

Criteria : Cultural 

The archaeological site of Hattusha, former capital of the Hittite Empire, is notable for its urban organization, the types of construction that have been preserved (temples, royal residences, fortifications), the rich ornamentation of the Lions' Gate and the Royal Gate, and the ensemble of rock art at Yazilikaya. The city enjoyed considerable influence in Anatolia and northern Syria in the 2nd millennium B.C. 

Nemrut Mountain

Date of Inscription : 11.12.1987

Ref : 448

Criteria : Cultural

The mausoleum of Antiochus I, who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture. 

XANTHOS - LETOON

Date of Inscription : 9.12.1988 

Ref : 484 

Criteria : Kültürel 

This site, which was the capital of Lycia, illustrates the blending of Lycian traditions and Hellenic influence, especially in its funerary art. The epigraphic inscriptions are crucial for our understanding of the history of the Lycian people and their Indo-European language.

Pamukkale- Hiearapolis

Date of Inscription : 9.12.1988 

Ref : 485 

Criteria : Natural / Cultural 

Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site. 

World Heritage Committee requested state party to submit a report concerning the state of the conservation of the site, construction of thermal water distribution network and management plan. A detailed report on the requested issues by the Committee was prepared and submitted by the Ministry in 2006. 

City of Safranbolu

Date of Inscription: 17.12.1994 

Ref: 614 

Criteria : Cultural

From the 13th century to the advent of the railway in the early 20th century, Safranbolu was an important caravan station on the main East–West trade route. Surviving buildings from this early period include the Old Mosque, Old Bath and Süleyman Pasha Medrese, all built in 1322. It is a typical Ottoman city that has survived to the present day. The architectural forms of the buildings and the streets are illustrative of their period. 

Archeological Site of Troy

Date of Inscription: 05.12.1998 

Ref: 849 

Criteria : Cultural 

Troy, with its 3,000 years of history, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The first excavations at the site were undertaken by the famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1870. In scientific terms, its extensive remains are the most significant demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world. Moreover, the siege of Troy by Spartan and Achaean warriors from Greece in the 13th or 12th century B.C., immortalized by Homer in the Iliad, has inspired great creative artists throughout the world ever since. 

The archaeological site of Troy is of immense significance in the understanding of the development of European civilization at a critical stage in its early development. It is, moreover, of exceptional cultural importance because of the profound influence of Homer’s Iliad on the creative arts over more than two millennia. 

In Accordance with the criteria described in the Operational Guidelines for Implementation of World Heritage Convention 18 properties are listed in our new tentative list approved by the World Heritage Committee in 2000.

Relationships between world cultures, spirituality of sites, nomadism and migration, routes for people and goods, different modes of occupation of land, cultural landscapes, traditional life styles and settlements are all taken into account while preparing the tentative list. 

In our tentative list, there are 2 mixed sites and 16 cultural sites. These sites are as follows:

- Edirne Selimiye Mosque 

- Bursa and Cumalikizik Early Ottoman urban and rural settlements 

- Konya-Acapital of Seljuk Civilization 

- Alanya 

- Seljuk Caravanseraias on the Route from Denizli to Dogubeyazit Ephesus 

- Ishak Pashe Palace 

- Harran and Sanli Urfa 

- The Citadel and the Walls of Diyarbakir

- The Tombstones of Ahlat the Urartian and Ottoman citadel

- Sümela Monastery (The Monastery of Virgin Mary) 

- Alahan Monastery

- St. Nicholas Church 

- St. Paul Church, St. Paul’s Well and surrounding historic quarters 

- Kekova 

- Güllük Mountain-Termessos National Park 

- Ephesus

- Karain Cave

- Mardin Cultural Landscape

› Columns
TC Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı / Ministry of Culture and Tourism
List of World Heritage Areas in Turkey -UNESCO
Kutlay Doğan
Museum Curatorial
Türkiye Seramik Federasyonu
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Muhittin Serin
ABD'deki Bazı Kütüphanelerde Bulunan İslam El Yazma Eserleri
Aktüel Arkeoloji Dergisi
Osman Hamdi Bey
Prof. Önder Küçükerman
Identity of The Beykoz Glass
Doç.Dr.Rüstem Aslan
The Place Where Mythology and Archology Meet: Troy
Birsen Malkoç
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