UNESCO sounds alarm over quake damage to Turkey, Syria heritage

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PARIS: The UN's taste bureau UNESCO said connected Tuesday it was acceptable to supply assistance aft 2 sites listed connected its World Heritage database successful Syria and Turkey sustained harm successful the devastating earthquake.

As good arsenic the harm to the aged metropolis of Syria's Aleppo and the fortress successful the southeastern Turkish metropolis of Diyarbakir, UNESCO said astatine slightest 3 different World Heritage sites could beryllium affected.

“Our organisation volition supply assistance wrong its mandate,“ said UNESCO manager wide Audrey Azoulay.

A connection from UNESCO said it and partners had already carried retired an archetypal survey of the harm of the quake which struck earlier dawn connected Monday.

It said it was “particularly concerned” astir the aged metropolis of Aleppo, which has been connected its database of World Heritage successful Danger since 2013 owed to the Syrian civilian war.

“Significant harm has been noted successful the citadel. The occidental operation of the aged metropolis partition has collapsed and respective buildings successful the souks person been weakened,“ it said.

Aleppo was Syria's pre-war commercialized hub and considered 1 of the world's longest continuously inhabited cities, boasting markets, mosques, caravanserais, and nationalist baths. But a brutal siege imposed connected rebels by authorities forces near it disfigured.

Syria's directorate of antiquities had already raised interest astir the harm connected Wednesday, saying parts of Aleppo's bluish antiaircraft walls had collapsed.

'Rapidly secure' sites

In Turkey, UNESCO said it was saddened by the “collapse of respective buildings” astatine the World Heritage tract of the Diyarbakir Fortress and the adjacent Hevsel Gardens.

It emphasised that the full country was an important centre of the Roman, Sassanid, Byzantine, Islamic and Ottoman periods.

The pre-dawn quake deed adjacent Gaziantep successful southeastern Turkey astatine a extent of astir 18 kilometres (11 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

With upwind conditions and the distant quality of the areas making entree and accusation hard to travel by, UNESCO said different sites connected the World Heritage database not acold from the epicentre could beryllium affected.

It said these included the famed neolithic tract of Gobekli Tepe successful Sanliurfa province, location to the world's oldest known megaliths immoderate 10,000 years old.

UNESCO is besides acrophobic astir the Nemrut Dag site, 1 of Turkey's astir iconic attractions owed to the elephantine statues that are portion of an past royal tomb erected precocious connected a mountain, it said.

The 3rd tract is the neo-Hittite archaeological tract of Arslantepe extracurricular Malatya, a metropolis besides severely deed by the earthquake.

“UNESCO is mobilising its experts, to found a precise inventory of the harm with the purpose of rapidly securing and stabilising these sites,“ it said. - AFP

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