KORU: Heritage Skills for Peace and Capacity Building

This three year project focuses on the documentation and protection of two cities of historical and architectural value in south-east Turkey through built heritage surveys, conservation work and a training programme.

The Historical Sites of Diyarbakir and Mardin

Diyarbakir, along with its Sur Fortress and Hevsel Gardens, was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2015. The area of Sur is the oldest settlement in the city centre, with historic land walls, mosques, churches, inns, houses, fortress, bridge, madrasa and bazaars, as well as the 17th century Surp Giragos Church, and the still active Orthodox Syriac church of St. Mary.

Mardin, on the Tentative World Heritage list since 2000 is mainly medieval in origin, and is situated on the slopes of a rocky hill, crowned by its citadel. The city as a whole, with its traditional stone, religious and vernacular architecture, and its terraced urban pattern, is one of the best preserved in Antolia. Mardin is home to cohabiting communities of different religious backgrounds and historic buildings include Syriac, Muslim and Armenian churches, monasteries, mausoleums, inns, bazaars and houses.

Building Capacity Through Learning

In this three year project, a joint training programme will be established focussing on building capacity through learning. The programme will cover theoretical research, practical heritage skills and building surveying. Through this programme, a digitised buildings at risk register will be established, and existing architectural heritage will be documented.

One historic building will be restored by trainees who will develop practical conservation skills from project staff, and upon completion, will be used as an educational and community centre. A community engagement initiative will provide learning, training and engagement for 200 people, including practical training in traditional techniques such as stone masonry, training for tour guides and journalists, and conservation management and awareness training for heritage professionals.

Project Details


Location: South-East Turkey, Turkey, Europe Organiser(s): Edinburgh World Heritage Project partner(s): Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (KMKD) Funder(s): British Council Cultural Protection Fund in partnership with DCMS Funding received: £1,271,596 Commencement Date: 04/2017 Project Status: Active
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