Byzantine castle in NW Turkey left to its fate

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A historic castle in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne’s Yayla village, which was registered in 2012 by the Edirne Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board, has been abandoned and slowly destroyed by nature and treasure hunters. The architectural structure is thought to be a Byzantine castle or an observation station.

Byzantine castle in NW Turkey left to its fate

Over time, the castle has been partly destroyed by the hard waves of the Aegean Sea. The walls of the castle have collapsed and its stones have been taken away by the waves. The coast is filled with pieces of the historic structure.

Treasure hunters have also played a large role in the accelerated destruction of the castle, ruining its walls. Local villagers, who are fed up with the plundering of the castle, have filed a number of complaints.

Byzantine castle in NW Turkey left to its fate

A report prepared by the preservation board stated the castle was in a desperate situation because of illegal digging at the site and environmental factors.

The report also said there were pithoi (giant storage vases) inside the castle. The board had registered the castle and declared it a first-degree archaeological site in 2012.

Byzantine castle in NW Turkey left to its fate

The castle is under protection on paper, yet there are no guards at the site to protect it, as the structure’s struggle against the waves and illegal excavations continue.

The pithoi have been broken by treasure hunters who thought there was gold inside and scattered around the area. If urgent measures are not taken, the castle may completely disappear.

Photos by Kadri Baltakıran/Arkeofili.

Author: Ömer Erbil | Source: Hurriyet Daily News [April 04, 2016]

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