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Birthplace Of The Ottoman Empire And Ruins Of Pergamon Named Unesco World Heritage Sites

July 17, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Turkey has cemented its position as one of the world’s top historic tourism destinations with the addition of two sites to the exclusive United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

The sites, “Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape” and “Bursa and Cumalikizik: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire,” join 11 previously-listed locations that include famous archeological and historical treasures such as the “Archaeological Site of Troy,” the “Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği” and the “Historic Areas of Istanbul.”

“We are thrilled that the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire in Bursa and Cumalikzi and the rich cultural remains from the Hellenistic Era in have been recognized as significant contributions to humanity,” said Emin Kaya, Director of Turkish Culture and Tourist Office in New York. “This great honor further validates the historical value and experiences Turkey has to offer travelers and tourists.”

Located near the Aegean coast, Pergamon is an Ancient Greek city with a multi-layered landscape constructed under the Attalid dynasty during the Hellenistic period. It later served as a capital city of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor for a brief period. Though some of the ruins remain in their original location, the famous Pergamon Altar is housed at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, erected in 1901. The site remains famous for its sacred Asclepieion healing center.

Bursa and Cumalikzi, serves as one of the foundations of the Ottoman Empire, though it was previously ruled by the Roman and Byzantine Empires. From 1335 to 1413, Bursa served as the first capital of the Ottoman state. There are several remaining monuments, including 127 mosques, 45 tombs, 34 medreses and 37 hamams — all of which served as integral components of the social and economic foundations for the new capital. Cumalıkızık, located only 10 kilometers away from Bursa, is a rural location that has remained rich with history through the years. They also showcase the importance of social and economic institutions, which include commercial districts, mosques, religious schools, public baths, a kitchen for the poor and the tomb of Orhan Ghazi, the founder of the Ottoman dynasty.

The appointments of “Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape” and Bursa and Cumalikizik: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire,” to the World Heritage List came during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Doha, Qatar. It follows Turkey’s recent election to the UNESCO intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage. Turkey beat out France and Italy to claim the coveted seat for the next four years.

Istanbul was also recently named among the “best of the best” for world heritage by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee session in Phnom Penh of Cambodia. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee placed Istanbul on its coveted “Best Practice” list for its value to humanity and the state of its protection to preserve its heritage of historic landmarks including the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine, the 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the 16th-century Süleymaniye Mosque.

The full list of Turkey’s UNESCO World Heritage sites include:

  • Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
  • Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
  • Historic Areas of Istanbul
  • Hattusha: the Hittite Capital
  • Nemrut Dağ
  • Hierapolis-Pamukkale
  • Xanthos-Letoon
  • City of Safranbolu
  • Archaeological Site of Troy
  • Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex
  • Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük
  • Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire
  • Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape

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