Annex IX






The statement by the Chairperson of the 22nd extraordinary session of the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee, 27-28 November 1998, Professor Francesco Francioni related to a Technical Co-operation Assistance request for Turkey. The specific request concerned the Zeyrek conservation site, one of the protected monument zones of Historic Areas of Istanbul. The following statement was made by Professor Francioni during discussions concerning the state of conservation of World Heritage cultural sites at that session of the Bureau.

Chairperson Francioni:

"You may remember that there was discussion in the Bureau in June [1998] about the exact location of the Zeyrek site. There were representations made to the effect that it was not contained within the boundaries. I had some consultation with ICOMOS and I also [subsequently] received letters from [the] Representative of Turkey, to which I responded. I hope that we are able now to make a final determination. I received from the Secretariat, a voluminous dossier, but of course, I am not a land surveyor and I am not able to provide expert witness. I took note of that. I have the material, but I would like to refer to ICOMOS for the advice as to the proper location of this area; whether it would be reasonable in these circumstances to proceed with this recommendation in view of the discussions we had last June."



Chairperson Francioni:

"I would then put this decision to the Bureau. If the Bureau agrees, we shall proceed to remove the reservations that had emerged in June." [The Bureau agreed.] "It is so decided."



WHC-98/CONF.203/14Rev. Annex A

Extract from the Report of the Rapporteur of the 22nd ordinary session of the Bureau, June 1998.

Turkey (Technical Co-operation for the "House of Fatih Inhabitants" within the Historic Centre of Istanbul)

The Chairperson noted that the request did not clearly show whether the State Party had submitted this request or not, noting that the Municipality of Fatih of Istanbul had prepared and submitted this project. In the same sense, the Observer of Argentina stated that international assistance requests, as well as proposals for nominations, should only be submitted by the competent national authorities representing States Parties to the World Heritage Convention. The Secretariat informed the Bureau that the request was prepared by the Municipality of Fatih (being the site management authority) and was submitted by the Turkish National Commission as well as the Permanent Delegation of Turkey to UNESCO, both official representatives of the Government of Turkey to UNESCO (under cover letters dated 25 May 1998 and 27 May 1998, respectively).

The Chairperson informed the Bureau that several delegates had questioned where the districts of Zeyrek, Fener and Balat were located within the Historic Centre of Istanbul site. He questioned the validity of approving international assistance requests for areas outside of the core zones of World Heritage sites. The Delegate of Japan noted that many sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in the early years of the Convention lacked adequate documentation, particularly maps delineating the protected area and buffer zones. She questioned whether international assistance should be refused for this reason.

The Secretariat and ICOMOS confirmed that Zeyrek is located within the core zone, while Fener and Balat are located within the buffer zone of this World Heritage site, all three being in the Fatih District, as stated in the Working Documents WHC-98/CONF.201/3B (on state of conservation) and WHC-98/CONF.201/6Rev (on international assistance). ICOMOS and ICCROM reiterated their strong and full support for this request, underlining the crucial need to protect the urban historic fabric and buffer zones composing the essential setting of World Heritage monuments and buildings. Both advisory bodies stressed the need to promote the active participation of the local inhabitants in maintaining the integrity of urban conservation areas, which require not only the preservation of historic monuments but also of vernacular buildings of architectural value. ICCROM emphasized the importance of this project to strengthen the local management capacity. The Delegate of Japan supported this view, stating the need for the inhabitants' involvement to preserve the historic urban fabric.

The Delegate of Lebanon suggested that this request be approved on the condition that the Chairperson be authorized to clear the questions raised by the Bureau concerning the location of the districts of Zeyrek, Fener and Balat. The Chairperson stated that he did not feel competent to study cadastral maps.

The Delegate of Lebanon, furthermore, requested clarification between this activity and the UNESCO International Safeguarding Campaign of the Historic Centre of Istanbul. The Director of the Division of Cultural Heritage, being responsible for the implementation of this Campaign, informed the Bureau that the Division had so far mobilized funds for the conservation of historic monuments and buildings within this site, such as Hagia Sophia and its mosaics.

The Delegate of Italy stated that she wished to view further detailed information of the project budget breakdown and that the Bureau should not consider this request until such information was provided. The Observer of France confirmed the financial contribution by the Government of France for this project, as indicated in the Document WHC-98/CONF.201/6Rev., specifying that the Ministry of Equipment had make this commitment. The Secretariat noted that the detailed breakdown of the total budget of US$ 170,920 was indicated in the aforementioned Document, including the details of the US$ 30,000 requested from the World Heritage Fund.

 The Chairperson stated that he did not wish to have an international assistance request approved by the Bureau during his Chairmanship without thorough examination of all necessary details. Furthermore, he underlined the need to be careful in providing international assistance from the World Heritage Fund for the preservation of World Heritage sites within the context of social development projects. The Observer of Finland expressed his agreement with the Chairperson, supporting the view that new usage of the World Heritage Fund should not be created. The Director of the World Heritage Centre stated that there was ample cartographic and socio-economic information on the site in the study undertaken in the European Commission/ UNESCO/Fatih project, and that protection of the architectural fabric of historic urban centres could not be separated from the social development of the inhabitants.

Finally, the Bureau postponed the approval of this request for US$ 30,000 to its twenty-second extraordinary session. The Bureau requested that maps clearly indicating the core and buffer zone of the Historic Centre of Istanbul as well as further detailed budget breakdown information be submitted to the Bureau for its examination.

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