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Restorations in Turkey are like operetta settings 8 mars 2007

Posted by Acturca in Art-Culture, France, Istanbul, Turkey / Turquie.
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Turkish Daily News, Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Vercihan Ziflioglu, Istanbul

In 1975, the Istanbul French Archeological Institute was replaced by the George Dumezil – French Investigation Institute. During the Ottoman Empire, the Istanbul French Archeological Institute, which was interested in archeology and ancient era science, was placed in the building of the French Consulate. Eventually the institute started working on Turcology.

The Istanbul French Archeological Institute incorporated the current investigations into its own constitution especially after the Istanbul City Observation Center was founded in the end of the 1980s.

Today the institute runs projects, where they create a base for Turkish and French archaeologists to meet and have the chance to work together. Turkish archaeologists go and work with their colleagues in France and French archaeologists come to Turkey. There are nearly 500 travel books from the 18th century and 30,000 books in the institute. Another treasure of the Istanbul French Archeological Institute is Ottoman maps from the 19th century. Among these maps it is possible to find Istanbul, İzmir, Anatolian and insurance maps prepared by the Jacques Pervititich and Goad Company. The director of the Istanbul French Archeological Institute, Pierre Chuvin and Axel Tibet, the Publication editor of the institute, spoke to Referans and the Turkish Daily News. An expert in ancient history, Chuvin thinks Turkey is not well known in France. According to Axel Tibet restoration in Turkey reminds him of an operetta decoration. He gives an example of City Walls renovation and says, “Instead of restoration, the walls were destroyed and built over again, which devastated the historical texture. When I hear about new renovation projects I am appalled because most of the historical pieces are destroyed.”

Mentioning the recent news of changing the name Pier Loti to Eyüp Sultan, Tibet said, “Pier Loti was more famous in Istanbul than in France, he was in love with the Ottomans.’” According to Tibet it is not logical to change the name only because it is a foreigner name. He added, “Istanbul is always a capital of cultures, even if it hadn’t been chosen for the 2010 European Culture Capital. On the other hand the historical treasures and places are demolished quickly.” He describes Istanbul as a common heritage of humanity so he blames not only the government but also the public.

The reference of Anatolia around the world, ‘Anatolian Antiqua’: Chuvin points out the main goal of the institute, which is changing the unacceptable image of Turkey in France. One project is the Erasmus Student Exchange Project, where they exchange students and teachers with France so both of the nations have a chance to learn about each others culture. The project even had archaeologists visiting Turkey. Exchanging ideas and information is the most important part for the archaeologists, creating a faster way of communication.

Tibet explains that they have been publishing the magazine Anatolia Antique in English and German. The magazine is published every May, once in a year. It includes archeological information from the prior year. He said, “The institute owns a comprehensive range of books in the library, when compared with the Turkish History Foundation and Archeology Museum, they have the third biggest archive in travel books. Tibet emphasizes that the Istanbul City Observation Center has a lot of documents on old city plans and original gravures.


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