Decision : 35 COM 7B.111
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey) (C 356)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-11/35.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decisions 32 COM 7B.11, 33 COM 7B.124 and 34 COM 7B.102 adopted at its 32nd (Quebec City, 2008), 33rd (Seville, 2009) and 34th (Brasilia, 2010) sessions respectively,

3. Recognises the efforts of the State Party in the preparation of the detailed Impact Assessments for the Golden Horn Bridge carried out by international experts on the basis of the ICOMOS guidance and acknowledges with concern the conclusions that the bridge design it had considered at its last session would have a grave and detrimental impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

4. Notes the proposed minor changes to the design of the bridge proposed by the experts, in particular reducing the height of the pylons and amending the cover of the metro station which could have some beneficial improvements on the impact from certain views; but expresses its great concern that the bridge, even if amended as proposed, would nevertheless still have an overall negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;

5. Deeply regrets that the bridge was approved in principle in 2005 without any referral to the World Heritage Centre, not in compliance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and that its alignment has been fixed by work on metro tunnels on either end, and that further substantial amendments to its alignment and design appear to be almost impossible;

6. Also regrets the lack of adequate communication and the lack of adequate responses to its recommendations on the bridge and on the need for conservation plans, an effective management system, development strategies for traffic and tourism, and a buffer zone;

7. Acknowledges the efforts of the State Party in the preparation of a draft management plan but considers that the submitted outline of the draft plan falls short of the wide ranging, multi-disciplinary and effective document that is needed, and should be further developed to set out an effective protection and conservation framework and a robust management system that will involve relevant stakeholders, encourage dialogue between authorities and involve citizens and their interest groups and adequately responds to the major challenges that face the historic urban landscape of the city;

8. Also acknowledges the information of the State Party on the progress of approval of the management plan and requests the State Party to submit the final version of the fully developed management plan as approved by the authorities in English or French by 1 October 2011, to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies;

9. Recommends that the State Party appoint an independent expert Advisory Committee for the property, in consultation with the World Heritage Centre, to advise on the development of a strategic framework for infrastructural development and conservation, to guide the management of the property, and to also consider all ways possible to mitigate the impacts of the Golden Horn Bridge;

10. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and on the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 36th session in 2012.

 Decisions Report
Context of Decision
Themes: Conservation
States Parties: Turkey
Year: 2011
Decision Code: 35 COM 7B.111