Turkish minister says historic Topkapı Palace not sliding into sea

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The Topkapi Palace was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans, also the administrative and educational center of the state. A view of The Topkapi Palace from the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. (Erhan Elaldi/ Anadolu Agency)

Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmuş has said Topkapı Palace is not sliding into the sea and that necessary measures have been taken for its repair, the Hürriyet daily reported on Thursday.

Denying allegations about the sliding of one of the most important historic and cultural landmarks of İstanbul, Topkapı Palace, Kurtulmuş said: “There is not any, not even one centimeter, sliding occurring at Topkapı Palace. This is totally speculation. All necessary work has been done and reports were prepared. Topkapı Palace is standing still, absolutely not sliding.”

Turkish media reports in January said the palace was under risk of collapse as it slid towards the sea due to major infrastructure projects in its vicinity. Ömer Erbil from Hürriyet then reported that the alarming cracks in the walls and ceilings of the historic palace, which was the residence of Ottoman sultans for centuries, were the result of its sliding towards the Sea of Marmara.

Expert reports pointed to the impact of projects such as Marmaray and the Avrasya Tunnel as well as earthquakes for the damage to the base of the palace and the risk of collapse.

Kurtulmuş said the repair and restoration of Topkapı Palace had been initiated in January.

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