ISTANBUL — A campaign has been initiated for the recognition of the ancient city of Ani as a “world heritage site” by UNESCO.

Kars Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Hakan Doganay, in a statement to Anadolu Agency, said that if the proposal were accepted, the ancient city of Ani would be the 16th World Heritage site in Turkey.

Doganay explained that the ancient city of Ani attracted the interest of both domestic and foreign tourists, adding, “As the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in February 2015, we prepared a comprehensive file on the ancient city of Ani and applied to UNESCO. We have been included on the tentative list, and we continue to campaign for Ani’s inclusion on the primary list.”

Doganay underlined the fact that a team to be appointed by UNESCO would come to Kars for examinations, and said:

“With recent inclusions, Turkey now has 15 sites on the World Heritage Sites list. The most recent inclusions are the Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape and the ancient city of Ephesus. In September, a UNESCO team will carry out its final examination in Kars. We expect the ancient city of Ani to be included on the permanent list as the 16th World Heritage Site in Turkey by the end of this year.”

Ani was once the capital of a medieval Armenian kingdom that covered much of present-day Armenia and eastern Turkey. Ani is protected on its eastern side by a ravine formed by the Akhurian River and on its western side by the Bostanlar or Tzaghkotzadzor Valley. The Akhurian is a branch of the Aras River and forms part of the current border between Turkey and Armenia.

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