Bursa and Pergamon have been added to Turkey’s nine other Cultural Sites on the Unesco World Heritage list following a 10-day meeting in Doha which concluded on June 25. The citations are for ‘Bursa and Cumalıkızık: The Birth of the Ottoman Empire’ and ‘Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape’. The secrets of the Ottomans’ first capital were revealed in Cornucopia 38, The Big Bursa Issue, and Unesco says that the city’s historic centre ‘illustrates the creation of an urban and rural system establishing the Ottoman Empire in the early 14th century’. It identifies the commercial districts of khans, kulliyes (religious institutions), mosques, religious schools, public baths and a kitchen for the poor, as well as the tomb of Orhan Ghazi, founder of the Ottoman dynasty.
Joined in the citation is the nearby village of Cumalıkızık, created to support the capital and known today for its collection of historic buildings.
The citation for Pergamon can be seen as the second for the Classical city. To house the spectacular Pergamon Altar, one of the best known architectural elements in the diaspora of Turkish antiquities, the Pergamon Museum was built on Berlin’s Museum Island, which was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 1999.