Mardin, which has worked for 25 years to be on the coveted list, has restored a number of its important historic sites, including a mosque, Islamic school (medrese), churches and historic homes. Under an urban renewal project of the Mardin Governor's Office, other major restorations are finally being realized according to UNESCO criteria.
Mardin Governor Turhan Ayvaz said that the work on the historic sites is almost complete. Ayvaz said that Mardin will apply again to be on the list of World Heritage sites in 2014.
“Hopefully we will also see Mardin on the UNESCO list. Our goal and our desire are to make Mardin the next European Capital of Culture,” Ayvaz said.
Describing the renovations, Ayvaz said that he had started seriously working on the city center since he took office.
“Mardin is a city with high tourism potential in terms of historical and natural features. We aim to develop the tourism infrastructure, marketing and promotional activities of Mardin, which was designated as an urban conservation site by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism,” Ayvaz said.
Many religions and languages have coexisted in peace for centuries in Mardin. The city was added to a tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and the Mardin Municipality has been working hard in recent years to transform the city into its former self from 100 years ago, under a historic transition project supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.