National Concerns in the Preservation of the Archaeological Heritage Within the Process of Globalization: A View from Turkey

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Archaeology book series (BRIEFSARCHAE, volume 8)


The World Heritage Convention chartered by UNESCO in 1972 is a milestone in the history of preservation as it puts forth the concept of the preservation of cultural and natural properties in a global scale. As a result of the developments in the 40 years since the initiation of the World Heritage Convention, cultural properties that hold a special place in the history of culture on a global scale are now defined as “World Heritage,” ensuring that their preservation by the relevant state is a priority. Turkey signed the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in 1983, hence undertaking to identify and protect its cultural and natural properties in accordance with global criteria. An analysis of the ten properties which Turkey has included in the World Heritage List shows that most of them are archaeological. The efforts of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to introduce archaeological heritage sites on the list demonstrate that Turkey regards including archaeological sites that easily meet the “outstanding universal value” as well as “authenticity” and “integrity” criteria of the World Heritage List for reasons of prestige (demonstrating the special position of the country in the history of universal culture) and for the tourism it generates. Here, it is worth noting that, to be included in the list, besides being of outstanding importance or unique, the site must meet other criteria that are relevant to its present-day profiling, such as sustainable management. Archaeological sites comprise only a small part of the World Heritage List, while they make up most of the listed sites of Turkey.

This article summarizes the legal and institutional dimensions of the preservation approach that evolved from the first Turkish legislation regarding the preservation of archaeological heritage from 1869 to the present. Emphasis is particularly on its relations with international conventions. In addition to addressing legal and institutional organization, the approach of the local administrations, NGOs, the public, and the press to the preservation of the archaeological heritage in recent years, particularly in terms of the special meaning given to the World Heritage List concept, will be considered. On the other hand, the policies pursued in the preservation of archaeological sites that are not on the agenda of the World Heritage List and their presentation to the public, and public sensitivity to the issue, will be explored. The new standpoint brought by the concept of World Heritage to archaeological heritage as a whole will be discussed.


Cultural Heritage Archaeological Site Cultural Property World Heritage Heritage Site 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureIstanbul Technical UniversityTaksim, IstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.Istanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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