Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Ancient Hellenistic city in Bergama in danger of being submerged


Turkish Daily News
March 09, 2005

The ancient Hellenistic city in Bergama is in danger of being submerged and lost forever to the waters of Yortanlı.

The Pan-European Federation for Heritage, Europa Nostra, asked for Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül's help in saving the ancient city of Allianoi from being flooded by Yortanlı Dam, which is to begin operation in November.

Europa Nostra Executive President Otto von der Gablentz and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, the European Council and UNESCO wrote a letter to Gül and asked for help in rescuing Allianoi and its Roman baths.

Gablentz said Gül should fight to save these ruins and that they should remain for future generations to see. The letter, dated March 1, 2005, also said it was unusual to see Roman thermal springs of such splendor outside areas of Roman habitation and that this Roman bath was historically important.

The flooding to be caused by the dam would constitute a great loss to Turkey's historical legacy and also deprive the country of tourism. If no solution is found, Allianoi will be submerged and lost forever under the waters of Yortanlı Dam.

Situated near Bergama at the Paşa Thermal Spa, Allianoi was founded during the Hellenic period and was transformed by Roman Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138). Dr. Ahmet Yaraş and his staff discovered the ancient city Allainoi during construction of the state waterworks dam in 1995.

What is Europa Nostra?
With headquarters in Holland, Europa Nostra is a non-profit, pan-European umbrella organization consisting of more than 200 NGOs involved in preserving heritage sites. It was created in 1963, later merging with the International Castles Institute in 1991.
The main aims of Europa Nostra are the protection and enhancement of the European architectural and natural heritage as well as the encouragement of high standards of architecture in town and country planning. Europa Nostra also oversees the bestowal of the European Nostra Award.


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