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New perspectives to save cultural heritage
Altan, M. Orhan

Ö. Baraga?*, E. Kö§geroglu, N. §. Gillian
METU, Faculty of Architecture, 06531, Ankara, Turkey
(ozgebasagac@vahoo.com. koskeroglu@,vahoo.com. neriman@arch.metu.edu.tr)
KEYWORDS: Cultural Heritage, Management, Technology, Conservation Project Management, Historie Urban Site Conservation,
Analysis, Antakya, Turkey.
As a consequence of developing Physical Planning Process in Turkey, which covers research, analysis and design stages,
several Urban Site Conservation Projects have been prepared since 1980’ies by using similar methods and available technologies.
However, none of these projects have been properly implemented or sustained. The main reason behind this problem is the
deficiencies in the current legal and administrative system in Turkey, which provides production of new development areas in urban
settlements but does not meet necessary requirements for the Management of Historic Urban Site Conservation. Today, while using
new technologies holds the prime position in the agenda of both conservation scientists and experts, solving management problems
concerning urban site conservation becomes a necessity for proper use of these technologies in urban conservation activities. In the
light of this argument, the aim of this study is to define and discuss the problems in Management of Urban Site Conservation in
Turkey by using the outcome of a case study on Antakya, which has been carried out by a group in Graduate Program in Restoration,
in METU. The first section of the study describes the general framework in Turkey via pointing out the critical aspects in the current
legal and administrative system that forms the basis for the conservation activities. The second section introduces the case study
carried out on a specific section of Antakya, which represents the general problems and potentials within whole Antakya historic
urban site. The case study, in which a GIS (Geographical Information System) was used as a tool, is presented in three stages as
research, evaluation and decision; including historic, architectural, social, economic, organisational, executional and managerial
aspects of conservation for the case of Antakya. With specific reference to Antakya study, the third and the last section of the paper
classifies the deficiencies and necessities for conservation of historic urban sites. To conclude, the problems, potentials and questions
to be answered are pointed out to develop a proper and continuous Management Model in urban site conservation process.
Since the 1980’s many “Urban Conservation Plans”
are produced in Turkey, parallel to the development of the
planning process.These studies which contain the research,
evaluation and planning phases use a variety of tools from
conventional methods to “information technologies-GIS”.
Considering the content, methodology and the tools, physical
planning in Turkey can be considered as international and the
specialists who are capable of producing such projects exist
in the country. However, it is not possible to talk about the
same success in implementation phases. As the use of new
technologies which provide the formation of wide and
updateble databases is being discussed in the conservation
field, this subject gains more importance. The efficiency of
the new technologies is directly related with their availability
of use within the system. Therefore, the defmiton of the
problems of the produced conservation studies during the
implementation process is a primary and important task.
The Actors in the Field of Conservation:
Three main actors can be mentioned in the field of
conservation planning and implementation in Turkey: The
Ministry of Culture (KB), Municipalities and Local
Administration, the General Directorate of Pious
Foundations. The Ministry of Culture as the main actor with
its 24 Regional Conservation Councils (BKK), a staff of 509
members (2002) responsible for the cultural heritage and
5606 sites and 50792 registered buildings is trying to protect
the cultural heritage. According to this data each member is
held responsible for a rough number of 100 buildings. In
other words, a director of culture in any province or an
ordinary museum director has to supervise and monitor the
conservation activities as well as the inventory,
documentation and project production in one or more cities
with the existing 1-2 members of staff. As we consider the
unfinished inventory of cultural heritage in our country it
may be visualized that KB is not capable of carrying out its
responsibilities with its current staff. The share of KB within
the general budget in the last five years is 0.2-0.3 percent.
These numbers indicate how insufficient the staff and the
budget sources of KB are. Extra problems like the lack of the
development of a contemporary, national mission and related
policies as well as the definition of primary concerns for
conservation can be mentioned in the list. Within this frame,
KB is not capable of solving conservation problems in the
The second group of actors in the field of restoration
is municipalities and local administrations. The functions of
municipalities for conservation can be defined as : a) The
production/ aggrement/ implementation of Urban
Conservation Plan (KIP) b) The implementation of temporary
construction regulations produced by BKK in sites c) The
monitoring of the conservation of registered buildings
together with museums and BKK d) Giving implementation /
use permission for the projects agreed by BKK e)
Representing the municipality in BKK for subjects related to
The municipalities who are the executer and monitor
of the BKK decisions face four main problems as they carry
out conservation projects:
1. Municipalities, the executor of BKK decisions
which they do not support, see the BKK as an organization
against development. Though some difficulties exist within
the work of BKK this semicentral formation should be
defended against municipalities which do not even have
qualified personnel.
2. Municipalities see conservation within the
responsibility of KB, they do not develop an awareness. The
current structure and the quality of the personnel of the
municipalities do not let them to take the responsibility,
either. Their structure is usually limited to opening up new
development areas and providing services to those
regions.Thus, they are not capable of developing necessary
tools for the protection or renewal of the living urban quarters
like historic tissues or squatters. Or in practice those who
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