41 Turkish sites now on UNESCO's tentative world heritage list
On account of efforts by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey's Genoese castles -- consisting of İstanbul's Galata and Yoros Castles and the castles in Foça, Çandarlı, Amasra, Akçakoca and Sinop -- were added to the UNESCO Tentative List, which is considered a provisional list for sites to become official World Heritage Sites.
The seven castles added to the list were inherited from the Genoese, who commercially colonized land along the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Atlantic Ocean as well as in Northern Europe between the 11th and 15th centuries.
Among the other sites added to the tentative list this year were Laodikeia, an ancient city six kilometers north of Denizli province; Sardis, the capital city of the Lydians and Bin Tepeler, which are both located in the Salihli district of Manisa; and Lake Tuz in Central Anatolia.
The Hellenistic city of Laodikeia was built by Antiochus II Theos of the Seleucid Empire in the name of his wife Laodice during the middle of the third century B.C. The city is deemed highly significant to the Christian world, since it houses one of the first seven churches of Christianity and is said to be mentioned in the Bible as a holy place for Christian pilgrims.
Sardis is an ancient city known for having one of the greatest synagogues of the ancient world. The tumuli of Bin Tepeler, which are south of Lake Marmara, are in biggest tumuli in area, creating a massive graveyard.
Detailed files regarding the sites on UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Sites are later presented to the World Heritage Committee as candidates for the permanent list.
A total of 981 sites, which have great priority in being protected across the world, are registered on UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites. Currently, 759 of these are cultural, 193 are natural and 29 are categorized as hybrid structures.