A 600-year-old mosque in Turkey’s ancient city of Becin, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List, is being restored, an expert said Tuesday.
Professor Kadir Pektas, chief of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency that the restoration process is continuing in the city, which dates back to 2000 B.C. and earned its importance during the Menteseogullari sultanate in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Pektas said they were planning to reopen Yelli Mosque, the largest building in a complex which was built with a madrasa (religious school) and a bath.
According to Pektas, Yelli Mosque was one of the striking structures not only in the ancient city but also in the whole of Anatolia at the time.
Noting that the mosque became unusable over time due to some factors caused by both natural events and people, Pektas said: “Our restoration work continues meticulously with the funds we receive from our Culture and Tourism Ministry.”
“As part of the restoration work we have carried out with local materials in accordance with the original, the cracks in the mosque were reinforced with an 'architectural stitching' technique,” he said.
Noting that they discovered exciting architectural details about the mosque during the restoration work, Pektas said they found that the transitions to the mosque's dome were provided with triangular belts and that many jars (resonators) were placed on the interior walls to relieve the dome load and provide the acoustics in the building.
Pektas said the survival of the building despite major earthquakes in the region was due to the outstanding architectural success of that period.
The archaeological site in Becin has been systemically excavated since 1972, and in 2000, a hoard of coins, 60,000 of which are from the Ottoman period, was found, it said.
“It is not only the largest hoard that has ever been found in Turkey in archaeological excavations but also the largest cache of Ottoman coins that has ever been found,” said UNESCO./aa