Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Historic Areas of Istanbul

Türkiye
Factors affecting the property in 2003*
  • Earthquake
  • Identity, social cohesion, changes in local population and community
  • Management activities
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Underground transport infrastructure
  • Other Threats:

    Need to monitor movements which could affect the structure of the building

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Need for information on the Urban development Plan 
  • Need to monitor the structure of the buildings
  • Underground transport system project
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2003
Requests approved: 15 (from 1986-2000)
Total amount approved : 432,208 USD
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

The €7 million project designed by the World Heritage Centre in 1998-99 and approved by the European Commission, became operational from January 2003. This project for urban renewal of the Fatih District through social housing policies and social development actions, is expected to create a new dynamic in the project target areas of Balat and Fener, but also in the adjacent area of Zeyrek which is one of the four core World Heritage protected areas.

In February 2003, the Centre reviewed the results of the social economic survey of the inhabitants and the building condition survey of Zeyrek, Yenikapi and Suleymaniye areas of Historic Istanbul, where the Ottoman period timber buidings still exist. This study financed by the World Heritage Fund and carried out by the Istanbul Technical University (ITU), demonstrated the critical condition of the extant buildings and the inability of the poor inhabitants to conserve these buildings without public aid. UNESCO/WHC and ICOMOS-Turkey recommended the following:

1. Extension of social housing credit from TOKI (government housing agency) for the renewal of Zeyrek and Yenikapi (both part of Fatih Municipality); development of a new project proposal for €1.5 million for submission to EC by Zeyrek Conservation Association (Turkish NGO) and consortium of European NGOs;

2. Negotiations with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the funding of the rehabilitation of the timber building area of Yenikapi, located next to the proposed new train station, where the tunnel under Bosphorus is expected to emerge;

3. Development of a project proposal for submission to the World Heritage Committee for a demonstration conservation of one Ottoman epoch timber building in Zeyrek to be used as a local community advisory centre (linked to the Fatih Heritage House in Fener managing the € 7 million EC funded project);

4. Review of the draft urban conservation plan at 1/1000 scale of Fatih and Eminonu Districts integrated as part of the urban plan of Greater Istanbul.

The mission expressed great concern that the urban plan abrogated in 1997 has not yet been replaced, despite assurances from the State Party received by letter of 2 August 2000, of the imminent enactment of a new plan. Moreover, noting the continued deterioration of the state of conservation of the Ottoman epoch timber buildings of Zeyrek, the mission recommends that the Committee, at its 28th session in 2004, consider the inscription of the Historic Areas of Istanbul on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2003
27 COM 7B.79
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the State Party for submitting the draft zoning of the Historic Peninsula of Istanbul to the World Heritage Centre for comments;

2. Recalling the repeated concerns expressed by the World Heritage Committee over the delay in the approval of a new urban conservation plan since the abrogation of the previous plan in 1997, and the deterioration of the Ottoman epoch timber buildings in Zeyrek,;

3. Further recalling concerns over the impact of the construction of the subway system on the archaeological deposits in the historic peninsula of Istanbul,;

4. Noting the reports on probable additional disturbances to the archaeological remains and the timber building neighbourhood of Yenikapi which could be caused by the construction of the planned station building for the urban train system, 

5. Requests the State Party to complete and enact the new urban conservation plan without further delay and to make available the technical and financial resources required for emergency measures to prevent the collapse of the timber buildings, particularly in Zeyrek;

6. Requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to support the State Party in seeking international support to halt further loss of the historic urban fabric of Istanbul;

7. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 a report on the above to enable the World Heritage Committee, at its 28th session in 2004, to consider the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger, in the absence of tangible remedial measures to prevent the loss of World Heritage value of this property.

Draft Decision: 27 COM 7 (b) 79

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Recalling the repeated concerns expressed by the Committee over the delay in the approval of a new urban conservation plan since the abrogation of the previous plan in 1997, and the deterioration of the Ottoman epoch timber buildings in Zeyrek,

2. Further recalling concerns over the impact of the construction of the subway system on the archaeological deposits in the historic peninsula of Istanbul,

3. Noting the reports on probable additional disturbances to the archaeological remains and the timber building neighbourhood of Yenikapi which could be caused by the construction of the planned station building for the urban train system,

4. Requests the State Party to complete and enact the new urban conservation plan without further delay and to make available the technical and financial resources required for emergency measures to prevent the collapse of the timber buildings, particularly in Zeyrek,

5. Requests the World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS to support the State Party in seeking international support to halt further loss of the historic urban fabric of Istanbul,

6. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2004, a report on the above to enable the Committee, at its 28th session, to consider the inscription of the site on the World Heritage List in Danger, in absence of tangible remedial measures to prevent the loss of World Heritage values of this property. 

Report year: 2003
Türkiye
Date of Inscription: 1985
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 27COM (2003)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


top