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World Heritage Convention

Decision 39 COM 7B.83
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey) (C 356)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC-15/39.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 37 COM 7B.85, adopted at its 37th session (Phnom Penh, 2013),
  3. Welcomes the efforts made by the State Party to review the Management Plan for the property and notes that completion of the review is foreseen for mid-2015.
  4. Also notes of the State Party’s submission of the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) for the Eurasia Tunnel and requested Options Appraisal but regrets that the requested HIA and Options Appraisal for the Eurasia Tunnel were only undertaken at a late stage in the project rather than at the design stage, and that as a result few options could be properly assessed;
  5. Reiterates its view that the new six-eight-lane highway would have a highly significant, negative impact on the Sea Walls, the Marble Tower, and the overall relationship between the Historic Peninsula and the sea, one of the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV);
  6. Expresses its concern that the HIA for the Yenikapi Land Reclamation Project was also undertaken while work was in progress, and further notes that this project will add cumulatively to the negative impacts of earlier developments along the Marmara Sea side of the Peninsula;
  7. Notes furthermore the urgent need for an integrated plan on the peninsula’s coastlines and the open spaces surrounding the Theodosian Land Walls, in line with the recommendations of the 2012 Mission;
  8. Also welcomes the intention of the State Party to set up a new Directorate for Restoration and Repair within the new Department of Cultural Properties, and the proposed protocol that would enable grants to be offered to private owners for the repair and maintenance of vernacular buildings and reiterates the need for an overall long term conservation strategy to be developed for Ottoman timber buildings;
  9. Also expresses its concern that a number of major projects have been developed without adequate Impact Assessments being undertaken in advance of approval or work commencing, and without formal notification being provided in line with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and considers that there is a need for progress to be made with the revision of the Management Plan in order that these procedural issues might be addressed in a revised governance structure;
  10. Requests the State Party to invite a joint World Heritage Centre/ ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to the property to consider the impact of the proposed six-eight lane highway on the OUV of the property and all possible ways to mitigate this impact; to consider the impact of the Yenikapi Land Reclamation project on the profile of the Historic Peninsula; and overall to consider the management of the property;
  11. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2016, a progress report on the implementation of the above and, by 1 December 2016, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 41st session in 2017, both reports including a 1-page executive summary.
Decision Code
39 COM 7B.83
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2015 Historic Areas of Istanbul
Decisions adopted by the World Heritage Committee at its 39th session (Bonn, 2015)
Context of Decision