The walls of an ancient palace in the protected area of Sultanahmet have been damaged and demolished to build a hotel.
The first degree protected area in Sultanahmet contains many archaeological and ancient sites. The Byzantium Palace is one of those, but it has been demolished so a new hotel could be built in its place. The protection law could not sanction the demolition process.
The building is now five storeys high. Even the municipality did not say anything to halt construction.
A similar situation was seen during the construction of Eresin Hotel, and the hotel has become a semi-museum to keep ancient artefacts.
The situation was noted Dec. 15, 2011, by officials and was reported to Fatih Municipality. The protection foundation took care of the report one month later. According to the written statement of the foundation, the construction needed to stop immediately and urgently.
Archeology Foundation President Necmi Karul said the tearing down of the palace for a hotel was vandalism.
“How can they do it in the old quarter of Istanbul? There is a law, but it is only on the paper. No one is checking what is going on,” he said.
Caption: Sultanahmet contains many ancient sites and Byzantium Palace is one of those.