The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) has added a cultural site in southeastern Turkey to its World Heritage List.
Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens in Diyarbakir province were inaugurated as new entries during the 39th session of the Committee held in the German city of Bonn late Saturday.
The site was chosen by unanimous vote of 20 delegates after a Diyarbakir presentation of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
"All of the 20 members took the floor in favor of Diyarbakir and stressed that both the conservation plan and the heritage are vital for the humanity, so Diyarbakir was approved onto the list with assent and applause," said Prof. Dr. Ocal Oguz, president of the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO.
Oguz added that the delegation will also discuss the file on Ephesus on Sunday.
In a Twitter post on his official account, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Omer Celik welcomed the inscription of Diyarbakir to the World Heritage List.
"So, the number of Turkish assets on the list have increased to 14. Now it is time for Ephesus to put a smile on our faces," he said.
Along with Diyarbakir, two Danish and two French sites were also added to the list: Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement and The Par Force Hunting Landscape from Denmark, along with The Climats, terroirs of Burgundy and Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars from France.
Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens
Located on an escarpment of the Upper Tigres River Basin which is part of the so-called "Fertile Crescent", the fortified city of Diyarbakir and the landscape around has been an important center since the Hellenistic period, through the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman times to the present, says the UNESCO website. The site encompasses the Amida Mound, known as Ickale (inner castle), the 5.8 km-long city walls of Diyarbakir with their numerous towers, gates, buttresses, and 63 inscriptions from different periods, as well as Hevsel Gardens, a green link between the city and the Tigris that supplies the city with food and water.