Initiated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Day for Monuments and Sites (World Heritage Day) is held on 18 April each year around the world with different types of activities. In this respect, this year’s World Cultural Heritage Day was celebrated in EMU through the joint contributions of EMU Center for Cyprus Studies, EMU Architecture Faculty, EMU Tourism Faculty, EMU Urban Research and Development Center and EMU Eastern Mediterranean Cultural Heritage Research Center.
Within the framework of the theme “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism” set by ICOMOS for the 18 April World Heritage Day, a workshop on “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism” was held by EMU Architecture Faculty at Architecture Faculty Arch 018 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Present at the workshop were EMU Architecture Department Dean Prof. Dr. Özgür Dinçyürek, Vice Dean of Tourism Faculty Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ali Öztüren, Chair of Architecture Department Prof. Dr. Naciye Doratlı, Vice Chair of Architecture Department Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ege Uluca Tümer, Architecture Department academic staff member Prof. Dr. Şebnem Hoşkara, EMU Urban Research and Development Center Executive Board member and Architecture Department academic staff member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Beser Oktay, Eastern Mediterranean Cultural Heritage Research Center Chair Bülent Kızılduman, Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Tourism Planning Department, Planning Unit Chair Nurbanu T. Soyel, Her Daim Dostlar Group representative and Near East University Architecture Faculty academic staff member Yusuf Örs and ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC) expert member and Boğaziçi University Tourism Management Department academic staff member Dr. Ayşegül Yılmaz.
Working Towards Achieving Social Awareness
EMU Architecture Department Chair Prof. Dr. Naciye Doratlı delivered the opening address of the workshop and highlighted the importance of 18 April World Cultural Heritage Day. Putting forth that EMU Architecture Faculty has been celebrating the said day through various activities since 2011, Prof. Dr. Doratli added that they are trying to raise awareness within the society regarding cultural heritage and sustainable tourism. Prof. Dr. Doratlı concluded her speech by stating that through the workshop, they are trying the specify problems to do with sustainable tourism and items of cultural heritage within the TRNC and to inform the relevant authorities on their findings.
Delivering a presentation in the workshop, ICOMOS expert member Dr. Ayşegül Yılmaz stated that culture tourism is the consumption of the elements of cultural heritage by tourists. Providing different examples and her individual experiences regarding this subject, Dr. Yılmaz added that in a considerable number of countries, Cultural Centers have been established. Dr. Yılmaz also talked about the necessity of balance between elements of cultural heritage and tourism.
“Serious Problems in the Protection of Archaeological Heritage”
Chair of EMU Eastern Mediterranean Cultural Heritage Research Center Bülent Kızılduman talked about the development of archaeological work in Cyprus. Talking about the important problems they encounter both in the protection and exhibition of the elements of the cultural heritage within the TRNC, Kızılduman provided information regarding motivating the society in terms of maintenance and protection of archaeological heritage. Kızılduman also added that there is a need for international mechanisms regarding the protection of the said elements.
The Urban Research and Development Center Executive Board member and Architecture Department academic staff member Assoc. Prof. Dr. Beser Oktay talked about serious problems encountered in the tourism sector within our country. Stating that tourism will not develop with decisions taken in offices, Oktay also talked about the importance of education provided by universities regarding the protection of cultural and natural assets.
In her presentation, Tourism Planning Department, Planning Unit Chair Nurbanu T. Soyel talked about the work carried out by her department regarding the conversion of cultural heritage into tourism. Soyel also provided her recommendations regarding initiatives.
“Only Three Monuments out of 44 in Famagusta are open for Visits”
Vice Chair of Architecture Department Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ege Uluca Tümer stated that only three out of 44 monuments within the Famagusta Walled City are open for visitors. Tümer also talked about the lack of signs, brochures, information centers, museums and all other similar elements.
Starting his presentation with an economic analysis of the world tourism sector, Tourism Faculty Vice Dean Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ali Öztüren talked about the management of the cultural elements within the tourism sector. Her Daim Dostlar Group representative and Near East University academic staff member Yusuf Örs provided information about problems encountered in the protection of the cultural heritage within the TRNC.