Anatolia is often called “cradle of civiliziations” because of its rich cultural heritage. Places like Çatalhöyük, which contains the oldest archaelogical settlements in the world, or Göbeklitepe, one of the oldest temples in the world, are both located in Anatolia. Besides its rich tangible heritage – Anatolia having hosted tens of civilizations for millenia – the intangible heritage and its continuity is also impressive and unique. The cultural heritage of Turkey is not only exceedingly rich and multifaceted, it also constitutes an indispensable asset of the common memory of our civilization; they are facts that we are proud to speak up about.
The importance of the protection of cultural heritage is occupying the agenda more and more every day. We can talk about a rapidly increasing cultural heritage movement. Especially now that intangible heritage issues occupy the cultural heritage agenda more and more ever year, not only architects, archaeologists and restorers are involved in the cultural heritage matters but also sociologists and cultural anthropologists are working in the field of cultural heritage.
Protection of cultural heritage is not only an area of intellectual activity. The work on the field is very closely associated with the laws and funding sources. Although there have been laws on cultural heritage in Turkey since the 1950s, the political interventions are creating problems for the implementation of these laws.
In recent years, by the help of new legislations, more funds are transferred to the cultural heritage projects, either by central government or the local administrations. However, these funds are not enough for a country like Turkey that has a dense cultural heritage.