President Mr. Abdullah Gül, Mayor Mr. Topbaş and Governer Mr.Güler inspected the "Yenikapı Archaeological Excavation Area". Hüseyin Çapkın, Istanbul Security Director, Mustafa Demir, Mayor of Fatih Municipality, Adem Baştürk, Secretary General of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Ahmet Emre Bilgili, Director of Culture and Tourism Ministry, İstanbul have attended during in about an hour-long inspection tour.
“Archeological Excavations enriched to Turkey”
Mr. Abdullah Gül took information from both Mr.Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Mrs. Zeynep Kızıltan, Director of Istanbul Archeological Museums and then he went down and inspected the excavation area. After the inspection in the field, President Gül noted that the archaeological excavations have added to Istanbul's rich inventory of cultural and historical assets and the these findings unearthed in the station sites/ along the station area of the Taksim-Yenikapı Metro and Yenikapı area of Marmaray were very valuable pieces.
President Gül said that he had long been monitoring the developments of the excavations and that he had now come to the site to see them for himself. These findings show the cultural richness of Istanbul. He stressed that what had been uncovered during the excavations implied that Istanbul had a history dating back to extremely ancient times, adding that they also reveal new chapters in the history of humankind. By the time the subway station will be complete, Mr. Gül said that a veritable museum will have been unearthed. People will be able to reach back thousands of years and they will travel in time as they travel along the subway.
Metro and Museum combined…
Mr. Kadir Topbaş, the Mayor of İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality, gave information about the findings and archaeological assets in the "Yenikapı Archaeological Excavation Area" to President Gül stressing that the findings unearthed have extended the history of prehistoric settlements to some 8,000 years ago. “The work being done here in Yenikapı is very important for both the city of Istanbul and humanity. While two significant rail lines intersect/combine here, this area will also be the host to a grand museum,” he said.
Mayor Topbaş stated that the excavations are being conducted in an area covering about 23,000 square metres, so far 6.5 meters have been dug and aanother 1.5 meters more of excavation work will still be done. Mr. Tobaş indicated that the station will be built here, and will be converted into a museum where the findings obtained from the excavations will be exhibited. He also noted that when the metro line is complete it will travel from Yenikapı to Taksim in 8 minutes and from Yenikapı to Kadıköy in 17 minutes.
Mrs. Zeynep Kızıltan, the Director of Istanbul Archeological Museums, expressed that the, 34 sunken ships from the Byzantine era were also uncovered during the digs for the subway construction, which now form the world's greatest group of sunken ships. In addition, a settlement dating back to prehistoric ages has also been found. “The archaeological excavations made in Yenikapı have made a large contribution to the archeology of İstanbul,” she said. After the briefing, President Gül made an inspection tour in the laboratory where some of the findings are being kept.
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