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Türkiye’s ‘Traditional Ahlat Stonework’ added to UNESCO list

Türkiye’s “Traditional Ahlat Stonework” has been added to the UNSECO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

“Our national nomination file of ‘Traditional Ahlat Stonework’ has been inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, during the 17th Session of Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which is being held in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, between 28 November – 3 December 2022,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The ministry noted that the number of the country’s cultural elements inscribed on the lists has reached 22.

“We will continue to raise awareness of our heirloom traditional arts in order to popularize and preserve them,” it added.

The ‘Traditional Ahlat Stonework’ technique has been used for thousands of years to create artefacts and structures, particularly in the Ahlat district of eastern Bitlis province which is located on the shore of Türkiye’s Lake Van.

Stone miners in Ahlat use the traditional method, which is based on muscle power, to extract Ahlat stones. 

Long metal sticks are used as a lever to move the mass of rock. The iron wedges are hammered into the rock mass in a straight line and divided into smaller sizes.

READ MORE: Turkey’s Arslantepe Mound added to UNESCO World Heritage List

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