1.         Göbekli Tepe (Türkiye) (C 1572)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2018

Criteria  (i)(ii)(iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1572/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved: USD 0
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1572/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1572/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2023

On 30 November 2022, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, an executive summary of which is available at https://unesco.org/en/list/1572/documents/. Progress on a number of conservation issues addressed by the Committee at its previous sessions is presented in this report, as follows:

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

Progress has been made on some of the Committee’s recommendations and useful clarifications provided, for example on the commencement of the review of the management system. However, important elements of the recommendations have not been fully developed and require further work.

Useful information is provided on maintenance, conservation and protective measures for the property, as well as on the designations in place to protect the property, buffer zone and management area. However, these are not especially relevant to the issue of close monitoring of the impact of developments, although the proposed railway line to the south of the property is discussed.

In relation to clarifying the impact of ‘compulsory infrastructure’, the legal process of consent is cited. The Protection and Use Provisions in Archaeological Sites, Decision 658, 5/11/99 of the High Council for the Protection of Cultural Properties only refers to ‘Compulsory infrastructure (electric, water, etc.)’. It appears that protective measures to prevent negative impacts on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property are taken only after consent is granted. The Committee should reiterate its recommendation that the potential negative impact of developments around the property be closely monitored. The Committee may wish to recommend that formal assessment of compulsory infrastructure should take place before consent is given and should be communicated to the World Heritage Centre, in accordance with Paragraphs 110 and 172 of the Operational Guidelines.

The preliminary details of archaeological field survey in 2022 are welcome and the Committee may wish to recommend the continuation of this work as a basis for reassessing the degree of statutory protection of the buffer zone. In addition, noting that the archaeological survey has revealed significant finds and prehistoric activity in the management area close to the route of the proposed railway line, the Committee may wish to reiterate its request that a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of this development be carried out, in accordance with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context.

The response concerning the recommendation on the irrigation channel and quarry is noted and the action taken appropriate. In relation to the disused quarry, concerns remain regarding the negative visual impact of the quarry, as it is visible from the property. The Committee may wish to recommend that further amelioration be implemented.

The formal review and strengthening of the Management Plan are noted. The Committee may wish to recommend the use of the Enhancing Our Heritage Toolkit 2.0 in this process. The commitment to completing a full conservation plan is noted. This should be accompanied by an Action Plan and dedicated resources. The urgency of developing a comprehensive risk assessment and risk preparedness plan was highlighted by the February 2023 earthquakes. The property is located within the strong impact zone of those earthquakes. A risk assessment should include the Sanliurfa Museum where excavated material is stored and exhibited. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to submit, as a matter of priority, to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, the revised Management Plan, including comprehensive conservation and risk assessment and risk preparedness plans, with details of baseline data and monitoring protocols, including on conservation work, risk assessment, visitor satisfaction, community involvement and broader environmental indicators.

The draft Visitor Management Plan should be incorporated into the revised Management Plan. Once finalised, the draft Visitor Management Plan should be sent to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies prior to its approval.

Decision Adopted: 45 COM 7B.203

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/23/45.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 44 COM [7]B.57 adopted at its extended 44th session (Fuzhou/online, 2021),
  3. Notes the progress accomplished by the State Party but requests that it:
    1. Submit, as a matter of priority for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies a revised Management Plan, utilizing the Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit 2.0 and including:
      1. A full conservation plan as the basis for a well-planned and long-term conservation approach, with associated action plan and dedicated resources,
      2. A comprehensive risk assessment and risk preparedness plan based on the Resource Manual Managing Disaster Risks at World Heritage,
      3. Details of baseline data and monitoring protocols, including on conservation work, risk assessment, visitor satisfaction, community indicators and broader environmental indicators,
      4. A draft Visitor Management Plan, including a Tourism Management Plan and actions, time schedules and dedicated resources,
    2. Continue to closely monitor developments around the property that may have an impact on the landscape, integrity and archaeological potential of the property and assess the impact of any proposed compulsory infrastructure before consent is granted, in accordance with Paragraphs 110 and 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    3. Carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) of the proposed development of a railway line to the south of the property, in accordance with the Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context and prior to any construction, and submit it to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies,
    4. Continue to take active amelioration measures to ensure that the visual impact of the irrigation channel in the management area and south-east of the property is reduced and to further assess the visual impact of the quarry in the management area to the west of the property,
    5. Continue to undertake archaeological survey work as the basis for reassessing the degree of statutory protection of the buffer zone;
  4. Reminds the States Party to inform the World Heritage Centre in due course of its intention to undertake or authorize any major developments that may affect the Outstanding Universal Value of a World Heritage property and to undertake Heritage and/or Environmental Impact Assessments before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse, in line with Paragraph 172 and 118bis of the Operational Guidelines respectively;
  5. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 47th session.