Mersin’s Anemurium ancient city aims for UNESCO recognition

Mersin’s Anemurium ancient city aims for UNESCO recognition

Mersin’s Anemurium ancient city aims for UNESCO recognition

The ancient port city of Anemurium, where continuous excavation and restoration efforts are shedding light on a civilization that dates back 2,000 years, will be proposed as a candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Situated on approximately 600 acres along the Mediterranean Sea in the southern province of Mersin's Anamur district, Anemurium has been the focus of year-round archeological efforts.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry, in collaboration with Konya Selçuk University and excavation head Professor Mehmet Tekocak, has been diligently working to uncover and restore various historical structures within the city.

Mersin Governor Ali Pehlivan emphasized the importance of Anemurium during his visit and stated: "We are in the seventh season of excavation and restoration works. This ancient city takes people back 2,000 years, and we are preserving and presenting the living conditions of that era for today and tomorrow."

Elaborating on the ongoing efforts, Tekocak said: “We have made significant progress by working uninterruptedly throughout the year. Currently, our team is focused on the Central A Gate structure.”

“Additionally, we have initiated the first stage of landscaping to enhance visitor experience. Construction of welcome centers, social facilities, and park areas is underway to ensure a decent environment for visitors.”

Key restorations in Anemurium include a bath, an odeon, and a Turkish house, reflecting the city’s diverse architectural heritage.

Pehlivan highlighted the city’s continuous habitation from the first century B.C. to the seventh century A.D., noting that Anemurium comprises an upper and lower part, with uninterrupted life during that period.

“Structures such as baths, city walls, a basilica and necropoles and an odeons. The [restoration of the] odeon has been completed, work on the baths continues, and one of them has been completed. Again, a house reflecting Turkish architecture was renovated.”

The governor also mentioned plans for a reception point at the entrance to enhance the site’s accessibility, featuring facilities for ticketing, souvenir shopping and social activities.

“On the coastal part, we will create a structure that aligns with the original architecture to welcome visitors,” he added.

Pehlivan underscored Mersin’s prominence due to its historical artifacts and natural assets, expressing confidence in Anemurium’s eligibility for UNESCO recognition.

“I would like to express here that the ancient city of Anemurium will be one of the places we will propose to be included in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. This is one of the places that deserves this very much,” he said.

“It fully embodies the architecture of its times and remains untouched due to a lack of subsequent settlements, preserving its historical integrity. With our ongoing efforts we are bringing the past to life, allowing people to experience the living conditions of ancient times,” he concluded.

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