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Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape

Türkiye
Factors affecting the property in 2021*
  • Civil unrest
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Impacts of tourism / visitor / recreation
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Water infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Concern over the situation prevailing in Diyarbakir (issue resolved)
  • Rehabilitation and reconstruction works and development
  • Ground transport infrastructure (roads)
  • Water infrastructure
  • Impacts of tourism/visitor/recreation
  • Management system/Management and Conservation Plan modified
  • Land Conversion
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2021
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2021**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 1 February 2020, the State Party submitted a state of conservation report, the executive summary of which is available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1488/documents/, which addresses the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee as follows:

  • Work carried out at the Diyarbakir City Walls is considered to have had no negative impact on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. It addressed vegetal growth, moisture and damage caused by environmental factors. Unlicensed buildings in the vicinity of the walls were demolished and graffiti cleaned;
  • In the buffer zone (Surici District), urban design and rehabilitation projects became urgent after destruction following the terrorist incidents in 2015. Emphasis is given to maintaining the integrity and the traditional and historic fabric of the region. These projects are considered to have no negative impact on the OUV and have not been subject to Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs);
  • The 2016 amendments, which take into consideration the general principles of the 2012 Conservation Plan, have been inserted to the 2012 Conservation Plan and submitted as an annex to the State Party’s report. The amendments refer to a Conservation Implementary Development Plan covering the walled city urban archaeological site and the walls and Urban Design Project, and provide implementation provisions for urban design, the expansion of some roads and amendments to provide public security and facilities;
  • Besides the HIA carried out for the Tigris River Rehabilitation Project, an HIA has been initiated for the Tigris Valley Eastern Surici Landscaping Project. The implementation of the Landscaping Project for Areas outside Diyarbakir City Walls has not yet started. Implementation of the urban renewal project in the Yenişehir District has not yet started;
  • Rehabilitation works in the buffer zone (Surici District) consist of evacuating and demolishing highly damaged risky structures and the creation of new ones in line with the strategies defined in the Urban Design Guide for Sur and the Conservation Plan. Traditional examples of civil architecture from the Surici District are studied, documented and taken as references and models for the new constructions;
  • The joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission requested by Decision 41 COM 7B.50 (Krakow, 2017), was scheduled to take place in April 2020 but was postponed due to current health pandemic;
  • In 2019, excavations to the Divanhane section of the Artukid Palace continued.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2021

It is regrettable that no details of the urban rehabilitation projects at the Diyarbakir City Walls and the buffer zone of Surici District have been submitted by the State Party. It is also regrettable that the reconstruction works are continuing before the Reactive Monitoring mission has taken place, and against the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee. The World Heritage Centre has received third party information with photographs on the destruction of many buildings after the end of the 2015 incidents, which might suggest that irreversible change of the social and historic fabric of the area has already happened.

It is also a matter of concern that the inclusion of the 2016 amendments in the 2012 Conservation Plan was made before the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies had the opportunity to review them, and that the implementation of the revised 2012 Conservation Plan (henceforth referred to as the "2016 Conservation Plan") was not halted in accordance with the explicit request by the World Heritage Committee in its last decision (43 COM 7B.90). The amendments include provisions already executed that may have already harmed the OUV of the property, such as the provision for formalising the recently inserted ring road adjacent to the Diyarbakir City Walls. The 2016 Conservation Plan with all its annexes and supporting planning instruments should be reviewed by the Advisory Bodies before implementation. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to halt the implementation of the 2016 Conservation Plan and to revert to the 2012 Conservation Plan until the revised Conservation Plan with its Conservation Implementary Development Plan covering the walled city urban archeological site and the walls and Urban Design Project have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review.

Besides the HIA carried out for the Tigris River Rehabilitation Project and the HIA initiated for the Tigris Valley Eastern Surici Landscaping Project, numerous other projects ongoing or under planning are continuing without the State Party indicating its intention of conducting or submitting HIAs. It is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to halt the reconstruction and rehabilitation or reprogramming projects in progress or in the process of planning in the property and its buffer zone that may have an impact on the property’s OUV until the Reactive Monitoring mission has visited the property and its conclusions are known. The State Party should also be requested to submit the project documentation and the results of independent HIAs for all projects that are planned for review by the Advisory Bodies, including a section on the potential impacts of the projects on the OUV of the property, before the beginning of any works.

It is finally recommended that the joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission requested by the Committee, scheduled to take place in April 2020 but postponed due to current health pandemic, be replanned as soon as the sanitary situation allows.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2021
44 COM 7B.56
Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape (Turkey) (C 1488)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.90, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes the work carried out by the State Party to rehabilitate and protect the property and its buffer zone;
  4. Regrets that no details have been submitted on the urban rehabilitation projects for the property and its buffer zone;
  5. Expresses concern that reconstruction work has started before the Reactive Monitoring mission has taken place and its conclusions known and before Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) were undertaken for all projects and submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party that all projects that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property be halted until the recommendations of the Reactive Monitoring mission are known and adopted by the Committee;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to halt the implementation of the 2016 Conservation Plan and to revert to the 2012 Conservation Plan until the revised Conservation Plan with its Conservation Implementary Development Plan covering the walled city urban archaeological site and the walls and Urban Design Project have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review;
  8. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to carry out independent HIAs for urban design, landscape and infrastructural projects which may have an impact on the OUV of the property and its setting, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, each with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV, before these projects are implemented;
  9. Requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre on the possible new dates for the requested joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the overall state of conservation of the property as soon as the current sanitary situation allows for it;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session.
Draft Decision: 44 COM 7B.56

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.90, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes the work carried out by the State Party to rehabilitate and protect the property and its buffer zone;
  4. Regrets that no details have been submitted on the urban rehabilitation projects for the property and its buffer zone;
  5. Expresses concern that reconstruction work has started before the Reactive Monitoring mission has taken place and its conclusions known and before Heritage Impact Assessments (HIAs) were undertaken for all projects and submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies;
  6. Reiterates its request to the State Party that all projects that could affect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property be halted until the recommendations of the Reactive Monitoring mission are known and adopted by the Committee;
  7. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to halt the implementation of the 2016 Conservation Plan and to revert to the 2012 Conservation Plan until the revised Conservation Plan with its Conservation Implementary Development Plan covering the walled city urban archeological site and the walls and Urban Design Project have been submitted to the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies for review;
  8. Further reiterates its request to the State Party to carry out independent HIAs for urban design, landscape and infrastructural projects which may have an impact on the OUV of the property and its setting, in conformity with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties, each with a specific section focusing on the potential impact of the project on the OUV, before these projects are implemented;
  9. Requests the State Party to inform the World Heritage Centre on the possible new dates for the requested joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring mission to evaluate the overall state of conservation of the property as soon as the current sanitary situation allows for it;
  10. Finally requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, 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 45th session in 2022.
Report year: 2021
Türkiye
Date of Inscription: 2015
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2020) .pdf
Initialy proposed for examination in 2020
arrow_circle_right 44COM (2021)
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.