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The Istanbul walls can now be seen from everywhere: The historic city walls have been digitally translated

The walls of Istanbul have been digitized with their photographs, information and stories. At the end of the 4 years of work, the walls with all their information and photographs were transferred to the Internet. The historic Istanbul walls can be seen from all over the world with one click.

The city walls of Istanbul were digitized after 4 years of work and it was possible to see the city walls from all over the world.The city walls that surround the historical peninsula and are the largest architectural structure in Istanbul today are an important part of the cultural heritage the city. Koç University Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Center for Late Antiquity and Byzantine Studies (GABAM) 2017 to transfer the city walls, which are also on the UNESCO World Heritage List, to future generations, to document the heritage and a digital source of information about the city walls by merging the relevant visual and written data. In 2007 he started the “Istanbul Walls” project.
The project started in 2017 was completed this year and the website was prepared by adding the Istanbul walls, the structures adjoining the walls, including the palaces, towers, photographs, articles and inscriptions to travel and learn with his knowledge.
6 THOUSAND PHOTOS, 40 HOURS DRONE FLIGHT, GABAM administrative coordinator Barış Altan, project coordinators Dr. Nikos Kontogiannis and Merve Özkılıç carried out an approximately two-year field study together with the photographers Gökhan Tan and Görkem Kızılkayak and the project assistant Ali Öz. As a result, all land and dike walls were photographed and documented in their current condition with approx. 6,000 digital photos and 40 hours of drone flight. A rich archive was created by preparing a film that can be viewed from the air along the entire fortification line.
TEAM OF 43 PEOPLE An international team of 43 people, consisting of archaeologists, art historians, historians, epigraphers, photographers and experts from various fields, carried out the project. prof. DR. Neslihan Asutay-Effenberger as scientific editor of the entire project, Prof. DR. Zeynep Ahunbay, Prof. DR. James Crow and Prof. DR. The scientific advisory board of the project was formed with the participation of Albrecht Berger, 100 articles were developed. All wall inscriptions and spoilage on the walls were also examined by experts and collected in a database.
The inscriptions found on the walls today or found in the Istanbul Archaeological Museums, but missing but contained in various publications, are Dr. It was compiled by Hüseyin Sami Öztürk and Ezgi Demirhan Öztürk and integrated into the project. Ayhan Han carried out long studies in the Ottoman archives as part of the project and incorporated the data about the city wall into the project. 68 documents from the Ottoman archives were used for the project. All these compiled visual and written materials were brought together by Hüseyin Kuşcu on an interactive platform in the electronic environment and he created the website The project is also a live project and is always updated with new data. The site was created in Turkish and English.
ADDITIONAL STRUCTURES TO WALLS, TOWERS AND DIEKS In addition to the walls, the site includes 806 architectural units consisting of towers, walls, moats and gates. The number of towers still preserved today is 23 in the Golden Horn Walls, 47 in the Marmara Walls and 181 in the Land Walls. The number of inscriptions in Turkish and English included in the inventory is 195. At the same time, the buildings adjacent to the city wall were included in the project. In addition, work was carried out on the Boukoleon Palace, the Khristos Soter Church, Petrion, the Sepetçiler Summer Palace, the Silivri Kapi Hypogee, the Tekfur Palace, the Kasasker Ivaz Efendi Mosque, the Blakhernai Palace infrastructure, the Yedikule- Fortress, the Marble Tower and the Gospel Kiosk.
“THE LARGEST ARCHITECTURAL RESIDUAL IN ISTANBUL” Director of Koç University Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Center for Late Antiquity and Byzantine Studies (GABAM) Prof. DR. Engin Akyürek said: “The Byzantine walls that surround the historical peninsula in Istanbul are one of the most important Cultural assets of today’s city. Originally there was a 24-kilometer wall on the Marmara coast, on the banks of the Golden Horn and on the land side. These are the largest architectural historical remains in Istanbul. Part of it is destroyed today, part is completely lost, structures are covered, but no matter how you look at it, 15-16 kilometers still stand. A significant part of the walls was built in the 5th century. Later there are the walls on top of it Ayvansaray site that were built in the Middle Ages. At different times additions and repairs are made. The city walls are an important cultural asset, they are already included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today they are largely neglected, partly destroyed by earthquakes, natural causes and human activities. We decided to document the current condition of the walls, and we wanted to document this digitally: “Let us make it available to the people in the area. We made a decision.”
“WE HAVE 42 ARTICLES” Koç University Stavros Niarchos Foundation, GABAM project coordinator Merve Özkılıç pointed out that they took around 6,000 photos and said, “We have hundreds of archive photos, there are archive documents that we process. We have 806 “Architectural units on the page, their photos are included. We coded them with the name, photo name, photographer name, we passed the definitions of the architectural units, we uploaded them by entering the GPS coordinates. We have the spolia and we write details about each architecture, if it did not survive, by collecting it from the archives. We currently have 42 items and more will be added. This has increased the number of teams to 43. In some places we drew maps of the items because the data available doesn’t reflect them, “he said.
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