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Irreversible Damage to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cappadocia, Due to Road Construction


The Chamber of Architects Ankara Branch has raised concerns about the increasing damage in the world-renowned Cappadocia, listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, due to a legally contested road between Göreme and Ortahisar.

Architects have reported that numerous fairy chimneys, monasteries, and chapels have developed deep cracks. Excavations have been dumped into valleys, and rapid concretization is occurring in areas designated as first-degree archaeological and natural protected sites, with the construction of hotels and amusement parks.

Tezcan Karakuş Candan, the President of the Chamber of Architects Ankara Branch, stated, "We had warned that the road being built in Cappadocia, a first-degree archaeological and natural protected site, would damage the UNESCO World Heritage. The current devastation is a disaster created by an arrogant 'I know best' attitude that disregards science. Irreparable harm is being inflicted. The use of this road must be stopped immediately."



Candan further emphasized that they had repeatedly warned that the ongoing road works between Göreme and Ortahisar would devastate Cappadocia. Sadly, new information, photos, and videos from the region have once again proven their point. While their legal battles against the destruction of Cappadocia continue, the values of Cappadocia are being obliterated due to the unlawfully constructed road. Heavy machinery is causing historical and cultural damage in the area, and the destruction is escalating. Numerous fairy chimneys, chapels, and monasteries are on the brink of extinction. Near the junction of the Ortahisar-Göreme road with the Göreme museum road, new cracks have appeared in the dining hall located within a monastery complex. The vibrations caused by heavy machinery, coupled with the passage of tour buses and heavy trucks, will accelerate the collapse of the cracked fairy chimneys.

Without relying on scientific and technical reports that road construction would cause erosion and damage, a decision was made to build a road in Cappadocia, a site on the UNESCO World Heritage List and a first-degree Archaeological and Natural Protected Area. This decision has led to the devastation of Cappadocia. Candan added that they had repeatedly warned that this would damage fairy chimneys, underground structures, churches, and monasteries, and negatively impact the formation of fairy chimneys. Irreparable harm is being done in Cappadocia, and the Ministry of Culture must urgently halt the use of this road.




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