The protection of cultural and natural heritage is one of the issues that attracted the most attention of states and societies in the 2000s, and it is an area where the work of the Council of Europe, the European Union and various bodies is focused. Anatolia, which has been at the point of convergence and conflict of various cultures and civilizations throughout history and still preserves this feature today, carries the cultural heritage left by many peoples to today. This heritage, which is located within the borders of our country, has its roots in ancient Anatolian cultures (such as Hittite, Lycian, Carian, Phrygian), Mediterranean and Aegean cultures (such as Mycenae, Hellen, Roman, Byzantine), Central Asian, Iranian, Arab influences, and Seljuk and Ottoman sources. While this diversity and richness makes Turkey perhaps the only example in the world, it also necessitates great efforts for policies and strategies to be determined to preserve this heritage and pass it on to future generations.

After the Second World War, important changes took place in Turkey as well as in the rest of the world. Liberalization in economy and politics, opening up to world markets, Marshall Plan’s aim to make Turkey a food and raw material store, and rapid urbanization phenomena that developed in parallel with rapid population growth were the developments that left their mark on the period. In the transition to multi-party life in 1950, l. While there was no cultural expression in the program of the Menderes Government, importance was given to transportation and public works, and infrastructure applications (such as highways, energy transmission lines, dams, bridges, airports) caused the destruction of archaeological and historical settlements. Suggestions for Turkey to become a tourism country in the developing process have been included in the V. Menderes Government Program to evaluate our cultural heritage as belonging to tourism and to enrich our natural and historical riches and national reflected in the form of establishing a ministry to promote our values. In this period, the Venice Convention (1965) and the Convention for the Protection of the World’s Natural and Cultural Heritage (1972) was signed, institutions such as ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) and ICOM (International Council of Museums) were established. Turkey was also involved in the process as a party to them.

The Law on Antiquities No. 1710 (1973), the first protection law of the Republic, was enacted in this period. With this law, the monuments and their surroundings, which are the heritage items to be protected, various types of protected areas (monuments, complexes, sites, historical sites, archaeological sites, natural sites) were determined as antiquities, and conservation principles were introduced, they were considered state property, and in the determination of the conditions of protection and use. The High Council of Artifacts and Monuments and the Ministry of National Education were appointed, it was envisaged that the archaeological monuments in the hands of legal and private persons would be transferred to the state through expropriation or exchange, and the expropriation of the properties of the owners of immovable antiquities who were incapable of maintenance and repair and the granting of technical and financial assistance was enacted. Increasing industrialization, tourism incentives and speculation-based second housing investments have started to cause great difficulties especially in the protection of cultural heritage.

In summary, it can be said that Turkey has come a long way in terms of what should be done by the state by signing international documents on the protection of cultural heritage, making legal arrangements similar to European countries, and establishing authorized and responsible organizations. However, these studies will not be enough to protect the cultural heritage.

In the upcoming period, Turkey has to produce new decisions regarding cultural policies and cultural heritage preservation, taking into account the negative aspects of past trends. First of all, there is a need for an integrated national cultural policy, which will ensure the full integration of culture with economic and political preferences in the process of social development, include the concept of excluded planning at all levels in the 1990s, and have long and medium-term goals at the macro level. It is necessary to develop strategies that will contribute to values such as democracy and human rights, which are universal values, in the protection of cultural heritage and transferring it to future generations, within the macro approach, which includes programs and actions in line with and parallel to the industrial and urbanization policies to be established. Considering that tangible cultural heritage is one of the most important identity protection tools against the cultural erosion brought on by globalization, and by examining the recommendations of organizations such as Unesco and the European Union, the following topics should be included in the discussion topics in the upcoming period.

  • Cultural within national cultural policies place of inheritance
  • Cultural heritage in environmental policies location
  • Cultural heritage management
  • Sustainability, sustainable development and cultural heritage
  • Integration of cultural heritage with urban life
  • Cultural heritage in a knowledge-based society
  • Public participation in cultural heritage protection increasing
  • The economic and social aspects of our cultural heritage reflections



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