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World Heritage Convention

Decision 33 COM 7B.124
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey) (C 356)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B.Add,

2. Recalling Decision 32 COM 7B.110, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008),

3. Notes the results of the 2009 joint World Heritage Centre / ICOMOS reactive monitoring mission and endorses its recommendations;

4. Also notes the appointment of a site manager of the property and encourages the State Party to implement fully the management structure adopted in 2006 and clarify roles and responsibilities;

5. Further notes that, although some progress has been made in drafting the scope of a management plan, little progress has been made with its drafting, and urges the State Party to expedite this work to provide the framework for ensuring that development and improved infrastructure respects the attributes and value of the property;

6. Reiterates its request for awareness raising on the scope and value of the property amongst stakeholders and particularly the local community;

7. Also reiterates the recommendations of the 2006 and 2008 missions that all such development and redevelopment projects should respect the conservation of existing historic structures, and expresses concern that no significant modification appears to have been made to urban renewal projects proposed within the framework of Law 5366 for the "Preservation by Renovation and Utilization by Revitalizing of Deteriorated Immovable Historical and Cultural Properties" in order to incorporate conservation plans appropriate for the property;

8. Expresses its grave concern at the potential impact of the proposed new metro bridge across the Golden Horn, as its towering cable-stay structure would have a significant adverse impact on the property and its setting and on the Süleymaniye Mosque in particular, and also urges the State Party to abandon this project or consider alternative proposals and submit details of these, together with an independent environmental impact assessments for assessment by ICOMOS before any irreversible decisions are made;

9. Also expresses its concern at the potential impact of the implementation of the Traffic Plan on the historic peninsula, in particular (as well as the Golden Horn bridge) the Bosphorus road tunnel from Harem on the Asian shore to Kumkapı in the Historic Peninsula, just to the west of the Sultanahmet core area, which would undoubtedly bring large volumes of traffic from the suburbs to the east of the Bosphorus directly into the heart of the property, and requests the State Party to provide details of the scheme and an independent environmental impact assessment before any irreversible commitments are made;

10. Also expresses its concern that many Ottoman style timber houses are in danger and increasing numbers are empty and further urges the State Party to develop an holistic conservation or rehabilitation strategy or programme as part of the overall management plan;

11. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2010, a state of conservation report for the property that addresses the above points for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010, with a view to considering, in the absence of substantial progress, the possible inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Code
33 COM 7B.124
States Parties 1
State of conservation reports
2009 Historic Areas of Istanbul
Final Decisions of the 33rd Session of the World Heritage Committee (Seville, 2009)
Context of Decision
Other Documents (1)
Report on the Joint UNESCO/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Historic Areas of Istanbul, 27-30 April 2009