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Decision 44 COM 7B.58
Historic Areas of Istanbul (Turkey) (C 356)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B.Add,
  2. Recalling Decision 42 COM 7B.31, adopted at its 42nd session (Manama, 2018),

    I
  3. Thanks the State Party for inviting a joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission in April 2019; commends the State Party for the conservation and restoration work accomplished to international standards at a number of built structures within the property; and requests the State Party to implement fully all of the 2019 Advisory mission recommendations;
  4. Welcomes the implementation of an urgent Action Plan to maintain and repair ottoman timber houses and reiterates its request to the State Party to provide information on how this relates to a long-term strategy for timber buildings within the property;
  5. Also reiterates its request to the State Party to define the attributes that convey the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property in the draft Management Plan as a matter of priority before it is completed; and also requests that the draft Management Plan is submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before being formally adopted;
  6. Noting the large number of proposed infrastructure and other projects at the property, further reiterates its request to the State Party to develop a progress report on these projects, together with a road-map including short and long-term strategies covering all types of project (development/renovation/renewal), which may have an impact on the OUV of the property, in close cooperation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, before any irreversible decisions are taken, and submit this road map to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2021;
  7. Further requests the State Party to undertake Heritage Impact Assessments, as well as Tourism and Environmental Impact Assessments for large-scale projects including the Kazliçeşme Marina and the Yenikapi Cruise Port that may have a negative impact on the OUV of the property; and submit such reports to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies before any irreversible decisions are taken;

II

  1. Welcomes the State Party’s invitation for two UNESCO Advisory missions in October 2020 and January/February 2021 to review the impacts of change of status of Hagia Sophia and Chora Museum on the OUV of the property;
  2. Requests furthermore the State Party to implement fully all of the missions recommendations;
  3. Deeply regrets the lack of dialogue and information from the State Party prior to the change of status of Hagia Sophia and Chora Museums, two components of the property, despite numerous requests addressed to the State Party to comply with paragraphs 172 and 174 of the Operational Guidelines;
  4. Expresses grave concern about the potential impact of changes at these key components may have on the Outstanding Universal Value of the property;
  5. Calls on the State Party of Turkey to engage in international cooperation and dialogue before any further major change are implemented at the property;
  6. 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.
Decision Code
44 COM 7B.58
Themes
Conservation
States Parties 1
Year
2021
State of conservation reports
2021 Historic Areas of Istanbul
Documents
WHC/21/44.COM/18
Decisions adopted at the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee
Context of Decision
WHC-21/44.COM/7B.Add