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by Tunae

Culture Ministry works on structures in Hatay

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stated that the ministry works on 293 registered cultural assets in the Feb. 6 quake-hit region Hatay, is focusing on Kurtuluş Street, known as the “world’s first illuminated” street, and Köprübaşı Square.

He said that they have allocated 2.5 billion Turkish Liras for many projects set to be completed next year.

Ersoy, who recently visited the city, noted that they carried out emergency work immediately after the earthquake, started damage assessment studies and established the Disaster Excavation Directorate.

“Work continues on a total of 293 registered cultural assets, including mausoleums, fountains and public buildings. We implemented emergency applications for the museums in Hatay. Since the Cemil Meriç, Vali Rahmi Doğan and Hatay City Museum libraries were destroyed in the earthquake, we decided to rebuild the City Museum as the Hatay Literature Museum. The restoration and furnishing of this place has been completed and it is ready to open,” he said.

Speaking about some of the regulations made, Ersoy said, “With the amendment to the regulation that came into force in May 2023, the upper limit of project aid for the disaster area was increased by five times, and the upper limit of implementation aid was increased by 10 times. While the Ministry applied for 368 registered immovable cultural properties in Hatay, project aid was provided to 325 registered immovable properties and implementation aid was provided to 12 registered immovable properties. In the 2023-2024 period, approximately 225 million liras in aid was provided to a total of 325 registered immovable cultural assets and 233 million liras to 12 registered immovable cultural assets. On the other hand, the restoration process of eight of these assets is carried out by our ministry.”

Ersoy said that they initiated the Development Plan and Urban Design Studies for the Protection of Antakya City Center, and explained the following:

“In this context, work was completed in the 307-hectare area under eight main headings, including historical research, natural structure of the area, sociological structure, archaeological research, urban memory research, architectural texture, structural characteristics and planning design. Simultaneously, the plans for the revival of the city, including analysis in the fields of archaeology, climate, environment and sociology, as well as architectural details, have also been created with 3D modeling. As the third step, the conservation master plan, prepared by the ministry and the expert team and consultants of the Turkish Design Foundation, was completed. Within the scope of the plan, the 307-hectare planning area will be transformed into its most original form with old and new structures.”

Ersoy said that the focus of the project will be Kurtuluş Street, known as the “world’s first illuminated” street, and Köprübaşı Square.

“Within the scope of urban design projects in this region, urban furniture, lighting elements and floor coverings will be made in accordance with the historical texture. An allowance of 1 billion liras has been allocated for the project, which is set to be completed next year. The restoration and display of the Hatay Museum City Library has been completed. We aim to open the Hatay Archaeology Museum next year. The General Directorate of Libraries and Publications will complete the Hatay Literature Museum Library construction in January 2025,” Ersoy added.

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