world heritage site
Alterations on Istanbul's iconic Hagia Sophia reportedly violated guidelines mandated under the site's "UNESCO World Heritage" status. Converted within two weeks of the legal ruling that allowed Muslim worship, the ancient structure's mosaics were unlawfully covered up, and any work on it was deemed practically impossible, architectural publication Mimarlık Magazine reported.
Works to excavate an ancient Roman bath in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Yozgat have been stopped due to lack of financial funding. The area is now fenced off, and visitors are barred from entry.
The interim secretary-general of the World Council of Churches, Ioan Sauca, has penned a letter to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to express his “grief and dismay” over Turkey's decision to change the status of Istanbul's landmark Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque. "I am obliged to convey to you the grief and dismay of the World Council of Churches – and of its 350 member churches in more than 110 countries, representing more than half a billion Christians around the world – at the step you have just taken," Sauca said.
The 14th-century Güvercinada Castle in the Aegean province of Aydın was designated a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle is located on an island named after it, which is connected to a nearby Kuşadası via a causeway, creating a unique landscape.
The Koramaz Valley in central Anatolia was added to the list of tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The volcanic landscape is home to numerous ancient underground cities, as well as tunnels that connect the residential areas.