Turkey is devoting increasing importance to the construction of new museums throughout the country and especially in Aantolia, including a new Turkish Islamic Art Museum in Thrace, the Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay says.
Turkey is currently engaged in a new museum-building spree in cities across the country, according to Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay.
“We are building new museums in Diyarbakır, Van, Aydın and Gaziantep,” Günay said at the opening of the Edirne Turkish Islamic Art Museum earlier this week in the Thracian province of Edirne. “We are planning to open more new museums. We should protect and also embrace all the museums in [Turkey], and Edirne is one of them.”
Museums are the main resource centers for information showing where knowledge comes from and how it spreads, according to Günay.
There are still museums under construction, said Günay, listing the Şanlıurfa Haleplibahçe Museum and the Van Museum as examples of new projects.
Noting that they were trying to protect human heritage by building museums, Günay said Turkey understood the value of such facilities.
“If society supports us, we are willing to contribute to the value of the cities with museums and arts centers. We will continue to do so,” Günay said.
The government contributed 2 million Turkish Liras to archeological excavations in 2002, contributed 14 million liras in 2007 and had raised this figure to 48 million liras by 2011, the minister said.
While in Edirne, Günay also pronounced Selimiye Mosque, one of former Ottoman capital Edirne’s most important sites, as important for not only Turkey, but the whole world.
A particularly important milestone for the mosque was its entry onto the UNESCO World Heritage List last year, Günay said.
“This milestone also reminded us that there is a lot to do in Turkey,” Günay said. “We need to highlight the historical environment of the mosque by making a walking lane around the monument.”
Noting that the newly opened Edirne Turkish Islamic Arts Museum is a good example of showing the work that has been done until now, Günay said, “We are trying to promote Edirne in the world.”
The minister also said he expected more than 10 million tourists to visit Istanbulannually by 2013 or 2014.
Tourist figures in the city have increased 15 percent despite the world’s economic problems, Günay said, adding that Istanbul was the fourth most popular tourist site inEurope and the sixth highest globally.
“I dream that [more] tourists will also come to Edirne. After spending a few days in Istanbul, tourists could visit Edirne to spend another few days,” he said, noting that there was a lot to see in the border province due to its former status as capital of the Ottoman Empire.
It is also possible to attract tourists to the Marmara province of Bursa and its İznik district as part of a project to create an “Ottoman Empire history route,” Günay said. Edirne Gov. Hasan Duruer also said his province had been home to numerous important civilizations in history and that the governor’s office was currently conducting a number of projects to construct monuments in the area. Süslü said the museum’s exhibition area consisted of 15 rooms that featured guns, Ottoman ceramics, and other items.