In Hatay, one of the 11 provinces that suffered heavy injuries in the earthquake disaster on February 6, many places of worship and historical buildings were destroyed along with modern structures. The effects of the destruction in Hatay, which hosts an important Christian community in Anatolia, of course also damaged the cultural mosaic. The questions waiting to be answered now are how, in what time and in what way these structures will be rebuilt!
In Hatay, which is home to different religions, cultures and civilizations, only rubble remains from many of the historical cultural assets of these civilizations.
In the ancient city of Hatay, where many historical buildings were destroyed in the earthquake on February 6, churches with a very old history were also damaged. While the earthquake caused great cultural loss in Hatay, the cradle of civilizations; churches in İskenderun, Antakya, Arsuz, Samandağ and Altınözü are now waiting to be rebuilt or restored.
So how does this process work? What kind of roadmap will be followed for the restoration of historical buildings? When will these work, which will be very challenging, start and how long will it last? These questions are now seeking answers.
In addition to the destroyed churches, all other historical buildings with cultural heritage will be rebuilt over time.
As it is known, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Annunciation Latin Catholic Church and Mor Paul Syriac Catholic Church were the places that were badly damaged. Again, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, İskenderun Karasun Manuk Armenian Church and İskenderun Greek Catholic Church were among the churches that were not destroyed but damaged. St. Peter and Paul Greek Orthodox Church, Antioch Protestant Church and Catholic Churches in Antakya were also cultural heritages that suffered great damage. While the Arsuz Greek Orthodox Church was completely destroyed, the churches in Samandağ and Altınözü were also damaged after the great earthquake.
The Process Will Work in Two Stages
The process for the restoration of Cultural Heritage will operate in two stages. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, under the responsibility of the General Directorate of Foundations and the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, first ‘projecting’ works will be carried out, and then the ‘construction and repair’ phase will be started.
In this context, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism also works to provide assistance to Immovable Cultural Heritage. According to the regulation on this, applications for aid were also received.
In the 2nd meeting of the Assistance Commission for Immovable Cultural Heritage, held on 15.06.2023 within the scope of the Regulation on Assistance to Immovable Cultural Heritage, the deadline for the 2023 aid of the Ministry for the disaster area was decided as the end of the working day on Friday, 14.07.2023.
Requests will be evaluated within the scope of Project and Implementation Assistance
In the statement made by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums on supporting immovable cultural assets damaged by earthquakes, they said; “Our Ministry provides in-kind, cash and technical assistance for the protection, maintenance and repair of immovable cultural properties that need to be protected, which are owned by real and legal persons subject to private law, within the scope of the ‘Regulation on Providing Assistance to Immovable Cultural Heritage’.
Adana, Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Malatya, which was declared a Disaster Area Effective for General Life within the framework of the ‘Regulation Amending the Regulation on Providing Assistance to Immovable Cultural Heritage’, published in the official newspaper dated 06.05.2023 and numbered 32182 , survey, restitution, restoration, reconstruction projects within the scope of the Project Assistance, in order to protect the immovable cultural assets damaged by earthquakes in the provinces of Osmaniye, Şanlıurfa, Elazığ, Batman, Bingöl, Kayseri, Mardin, Niğde and Tunceli and in the town of Gürün, of Sivas province, It is planned to provide assistance with architectural and engineering projects and reports and ground survey reports, and within the scope of application assistance, all application assistance requests within the scope of projects approved by the Conservation Regional Boards, as well as reconstruction requests, if necessary, will be taken into consideration. (SAT-7 Türk/İlyas Edip TERBİYELİ-İskenderun)