CULTURAL HERITAGE DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT ON SUR, DIYARBAKIR .

AFTERMATH of the ARMED CONFLICT

Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality

30th of March, 2016

REPORT ON SUR DIYARBAKIR ! DAMAGE ASSESSMENT REPORT

World Cultural Heritage in Sur

Since it is located in a transition area between Eastern Anatolia and Mesopotamia plains, Diyarbakır has been the heart of caravan routes since ancient times up until today. Diyarbakır Fortress and the city are rare examples that could survive until 21st century, at the same time, symbolize development of the urban history as well as all phases of historical heritage. The first settlement in the city took place at Amida mounds in İçkale (Inner Castle) during 5000 BC. Topographical characteristics of this district have engendered an effective self-defence environment for the people that resulted in more and more settlements and higher population density across time. The first structure functioning as a fortress was built around 3000 BC by Hurrians domineering the region in that era. Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens landscape managed to preserve its historical value for thousands of years thanks to its geo-strategical location that is the intersection area of the west and the east. The city not only preserved different cultures but also inscribed them as its identity. Since its geo-political significance, the city that has been considered by various civilisations and states as a regional capital as it is evident in the history of Persian, Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine and Islamic empires. Thus the city is a world heritage with its’ multilingual, multi-cultural and multi-layered characteristics. Within the archaeological site, genuine examples of civilian architecture, mosques, churches as well as inns, hammams (public baths) can be seen all together as cultural assets of Sur. In total, there are 595 registered historical buildings of which 147 can be categorized as memorial and 448 civil architecture examples.

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Suriçi district as a whole, including İçkale was registered as “Diyarbakır Urban Archeological Site” in 1988. Since the first master plan to protect this area could not be functional, a new draft of the master plan was prepared and put into action in 2012. Following adoption of the new master plan, Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality started to work for recognition of Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens as world heritage by the UNESCO as of 2012. In parallel to this,“Site Management Plan” was prepared with participation of related institutions, NGOS, scholars and mukhtars. Site Management Plan was conveyed to World Heritage Center in August 2014. During 39th meeting that took place in 4th of July, 2014, World Heritage Center approved Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens as a cultural landscape that is the world heritage. Diyarbakır Fortress, İçkale, Anzele Water Body and Hevsel Gardens are considered as the heritage zone while Suriçi and Tigris Valley area were registered as the buffer area. Since that date, in addition to national laws in Turkey, international agreements signed by Turkey as well accepted the responsibility of protecting the Suriçi buffer area. Management site is under protection of a series international laws as well as by Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection Act no. 2863 in Turkish constitution. These international agreements signed by Turkey as well are: UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001), The Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (Paris, 2003), Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (Paris, 1972), Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The Hague, 1954), Venice Charter (1964) and The Declaration of Amsterdam (1975). Any damage in Suriçi would mean losing prestige on international arena, but more importantly, that means losing a world heritage bestowed by different civilisations and any devastation in Sur is irreversible.

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Armed Conflict in Sur

Including Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens (registered as cultural heritage areas) and Sur district (registered as buffer area), Governor’s Office declared curfew in this zone for 6 times in 6 neighbourhoods (Cevat Paşa, Dabanoğlu, Fatih Paşa, Hasırlı, Cemal Yılmaz and Savaş neighbourhoods) on following dates: 06.09.2015, 13.09.2015, 10.10.2015 – 13.10.2015, 28.11.2015 – 29.11.2015, 02.12.2015 – 10.12.2015 and 11.12.2015. The last one still continues as of today. Another curfew declaration covered 5 more neighbourhoods (Ziya Gökalp, Süleyman Nazif, Abdaldede, Lalebey ve Alipaşa) in Sur district that went into action during 27.01.2016 – 03.02.2016 period. During curfew process, due to armed clashes and the use of heavy weaponry in those above mentioned neighbourhoods, we diagnosed serious level of devastation in genuine urban texture of Sur district and in registered historical buildings located in the urban archeological site. Experts from Monitoring and Investigation Unit of Site Management Directorate visited Cevat Paşa, Dabanoğlu, Fatih Paşa, Hasırlı, Cemal Yılmaz ve Savaş neighbourhoods in listed dates (15.09.2016 – 16.09.2015, 15.10.2016-20.10.2015, 11.12.2015) and prepared reports after examinations of damage on the ground. During curfews which still continues for more than 3 months since 11.12.2015, Monitoring and Investigation Unit archived photos and footages released by national media and official authorities which evidence the extent of damage in those above-mentioned neighbourhoods. All related reports prepared by the unit were presented to the attention of Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Turkish National Commission For UNESCO, Turkish National Commission For ICOMOS, Turkish National Commission For ICORP with the demand for inclusion of Directorate of Site Management in all assessment,rehabilitation and adjustment processes.

Findings of Reports:

Kurşunlu Mosque, which is a registered intangible cultural heritage located in Fatihpaşa neighbourhood, was damaged irrevocably in northern front walls as well as its’ stoop pillars located within the mosque. A fire outbreak took place within the sanctuary and distortions in walls, decorations and ornaments happened as a result of the fire. Moreover, the fountain of the mosque that was reconstructed later on is now totally destroyed (Photos 1 & 2). Sheikh Muhattar Mosque, that is quite well-known with its Minaret on the Four-Pillars is among cultural assets damaged during armed clashes. Two of four carrier pillars of the minaret were targeted by heavy weaponry and carrier lintels of the minaret were also damaged as it is evident in photos (Photo 3). Moreover, visual evidence also shows that walls of the mosque were partially destructed to facilitate entrance of armoured vehicles into the street (Photo 4). With the same pretext, registered historical shops were destructed which are located at Yeni Kapı Street which adjoin the biggest Armenian church in the Middle East, Saint Giragos and Chaldean Church next to it and thus historical texture of the street was also destroyed too (Photo 4).

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One of 7 public baths/hamams in Suriçi which could survive up until today, Pasha Hamam, firstly damaged in the early days of armed clashes. Then photos released afterwards showed that cooling section of the hamam was totally destructed as a result of a fire outbreak.

(Photo 5).

Another registered historical building, an example of traditional civil architecture, turnedinto Mehmed Uzun Museum House by Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality was partially

destructed, according to photos taken from sky. Amongst the part destructed, there is also

kabaltı (street veil) section, which represents one of rare examples of traditional street texture of

Diyarbakır which enabling pedestrians to walk under the physical structure. Furthermore, it is

also detected that a series of other historical civil architecture examples were partially or

totally destructed. As a result of devastations, the area characterised as “Urban Archeological

Site” has lost its’ unique street and physical structure fabric in a way that cannot be restored

(Photo 6).

Armed clashes which emerged after curfews and blockades have caused serious damages

in Suriçi Urban Archeological Site in all respects. Besides the damage on architecturally

valuable structures, it has also caused rupture of social and authentic life cycle in this district.

Curfews causing forced migration of people living in the area also resulted in disruption of

handicraft production and related commercial activities, which is a tradition that has survived

for thousands of years (App. 1- Photo 7). According to assessment reports by the Monitoring

and Investigation Unit, as a result of devastation and destructions, large volumes of ruins were

piled up within the urban archaeological site and those ruins also include physical parts of

registered historical buildings.

In order to not to lose architectural elements and materials which came out from

demolitions, an examination on the field must be conducted that should be followed by

further works to preserve unique construction materials on their original locations. All future

endeavours must have a participatory program and perspective of related projects must be

aware of the fact that a thousands-year-old world heritage city is at stake. Nevertheless,

Directorate of Cultural Landscape Site Management and related municipal bodies are not included

into the process of rehabilitation by the central government. Nonetheless, Directorate of

Environmental Protection (Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality) officially reported that the

Culture and Tourism Ministry formed a commission with local institutions and extracts ruins

without any examination of demolitions and those extractions are removed to an area that is

not officially a dump site (App. 2). Since Suriçi region is registered as a buffer area of World

Heritage Site, according to all related national and international laws, any works carried out

in the area must collaborate with Directorate of Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural

Landscape Site Management for the sake of coordination.

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Decree on Expropriation of Sur

After armed conflicts ended, Council of Ministers decided to expropriate 6292 of 7714

parcels available in Suriçi with relying on Expropriation Law no. 2942 on 21st of March,

2016 (App. 3). According to this decree, 82 percent of all parcels available in Sur will be

expropriated. Remaining 18 percent of parcels in Sur either belong to TOKİ (Housing

Development Administration of Turkey) or already owned by State Treasury. Overall, at the

end of this process, every parcel in Suriçi will be turned into public property (App. 4).

Sur is one of rare cities in which human history is embedded in. Traditional manufacture and

commerce, neighbourhood culture that relies on solidarity and spirit of sharing along with its’

multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious structure make Sur a unique historical living

space. In order to develop Suriçi in a way considering the balance of protection and

utilisation, a series of projects aiming at developing tourism were put forth and many of

historical buildings were restored with collaboration of municipalities, civil entrepreneurs and

public enterprises. For instance: Cemil Paşa Mansion was renovated then turned into a museum

for passing urban historical culture to next generations, a group of historical buildings in

İçkale were restored and turned into Archeology Museum, Hasan Pasha Inn, Sülüklü Inn and

some other civil architecture buildings were revitalised as cafes and restaurants, Saint Gragos

Church was restored then opened for worship and visits. With all these news developments,

traditional architectural fabric of the historical city invigorated along with commercial, social

and cultural life in Sur.

Nevertheless, collective memory of Sur formed within thousands of years will face a rupture

due to changes in property ownership and demographic structure if expropriation decision

taken after the end of armed conflicts will be implemented.

Those registered historical buildings damaged seriously during armed conflicts must be

restored in compliance with historical urban fabric and with relying on scientific principles as

well as in a participatory manner including all parties in the city. nevertheless, without any

assessment and reporting, efforts for extracting ruins from Suriçi still continues as of today.

Without any diagnosis and reportage of demolitions emerged during the armed conflict,

efforts now continuing in urban archeological site to remove ruins show the extent of

devastation that is irreversible (Photos 8-9).

30th of March, 2016

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PHOTO 1 KURŞUNLU MOSQUE

PHOTO 2 COURTYARD OF KURŞUNLU MOSQUE

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PHOTO 3- The MINARET ON FOUR PILLARS (ON THE LEFT)

PHOTO 4- THE STREET OF ‘THE MINARET ON FOUR PILLARS’

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PHOTO 5- HISTORICAL PASHA HAMAM

PHOTO 6- HASIRLI NEIGHBORHOOD- YIKIKKAYA STREET

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PHOTO 7- SARAYKAPI -DİREKHANE STREET

PHOTO 8- DESCTRUCTION IN SUR

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PHOTO 9- DESCTRUCTION IN SUR

PHOTO 10- DESCTRUCTION IN SUR

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PHOTO 11- ARMENIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH – BEFORE/AFTER

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PHOTO 12- DEVASTATION OF STREET TEXTURE

PHOTO 13- DEVASTATION OF HISTORICAL BUILDINGS

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PHOTO 14- DEVASTATION OF SUR

PHOTO 15- DEVASTATION OF HISTORICAL BUILDINGS

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PHOTO 16- CONCRETES PLACED ON DIYARBAKIR FORTRESS BY

SECURITY FORCES

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PHOTO 17- CEMIL PASHA MANSION IN SUR RENOVATED AND

TURNED INTO CITY MUSEUM BY DIYARBAKIR METROPOLITAN

MUNICIPALITY

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PHOTO 18 – SÜLÜKLÜ INN, BEFORE/AFTER

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Appendix 1- Information of Displaced People in Sur District and the

Support Provided by Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality

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Appendix 2- Official Report by Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality

That Rubbles Being Taken Out of Historical Sur District Without Any

Assessment

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Appendix 3- Official Decree on Expropriation of Sur by Turkish State

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Appendix 4- Expropriation Map of Sur

(Red: Recently Expropriated / Blue: Already Owned by State Treasury)

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The Report Prepared by:

Nevin SOYUKAYA /Archeologist

Directorate of Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens

Cultural Landscape Site Management

Orhan BALSAK / Architect

Director of KUDEB (Protection, Implementation and Inspection Unit)

V. Sermed AZİZOĞLU / Architect

KUDEB (Protection, Implementation and Inspection Unit)

Metin KAHRAMAN / City Planner

Directorate of Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens

Cultural Landscape Site Management

To get further information please contact with:

International Relations Office, Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality

international@diyarbakir.bel.tr

+904122232346

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