UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE 40th SESSION HELD IN ISTANBULThe 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee ended on July 17, in İstanbul. Started on July 10, at İstanbul Congress Center, the session was initially scheduled to continue until July 20. However, due to security concerns after the failed coup that began on July 15, the session was closed earlier than planned.
Talking in the closing ceremony, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism, Nabi Avcı said: "In the process of such a peaceful meeting in which global cultural policies are determined, our country has faced with very important and unpredictable events, as you all have witnessed. This situation that saddens us and undoubtedly our dear friends has been resolved and a secure milieu has been established with our people’s faith in democracy."
In this year’s session held in Istanbul, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which gathers annually to assess the cultural and natural sites nominated to the World Heritage List, has decided to inscribe 21 new sites to the World Heritage List, situated in various places of the world such as Canada, China, Chad and India.
Archeological Site of Ani from Turkey is also among this year’s inclusions to the World Heritage List. The city of Ani, founded approximately 1500 years ago on the crossroads of old trade routes (today's Kars), had been governed by Armenians, Arabs, Byzantine and Seljuk Empires throughout history, and had eventually lost its strategic importance, especially after the demolition it had gone through in the course of the Mongol invasion, long before the Ottoman Empire gained control of the city in 1579. The site presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of medieval architecture through examples of almost all the different architectural innovations of the region between the 7th and 13th centuries.