Photo: Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality
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Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır MP Garo Paylan has directed a parliamentary question at Murat Kurum, the Minister of Environment and Urbanism on the “nation’s garden” project in the mostly Kurdish-populated southeastern city.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan promised before the 2018 presidential elections to open “nation’s gardens” and “nation’s coffee houses” everywhere in the country.
Paylan mentioned the claims by professional organizations and civil society organizations regarding the project, saying, “It is claimed that excavating and leveling works in particularly in Keçi Burnu will irreversibly damage the reinforcement walls under the soil and the water ditch at the bottom of the tower.”
The Diyarbakır Fortress and the Hevsel Gardens are also in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Paylan directed the following questions at the minister:
- Are the claims true that the construction work for the Nation’s Garden in Diyarbakır irreversibly damages the Diyarbakır Fortress and the Hevsel Gardens and there are collapses in the city walls true?
- Was a Cultural Heritage Effect Report presented to UNESCO? Is this project approved by UNESCO?
- The rocks that possibly fell on the ground are claimed to be embedded in the project application area. Was an archeological excavation conducted in the project application area?
- Was the possible damage on the Diyarbakır Fortress caused by the construction work of the Nation’s Garden calculated?
- Is the project being inspected by the Directorate of Reliefs and Monuments, which is the relevant institution, or similar institutions and experts?
- What works have been done by your ministry since 2015, when the Diyarbakır Fortress was included in the World Heritage List, to protect the walls?