Turkey’s name is in the World Heritage list, a compilation determined by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); its natural and cultural assets are under protection. The natural and cultural assets in Turkey number 15 total, according to UNESCO.
UNESCO World Heritage List contains many natural and cultural assets. In 1972, more than 175 countries signed on to the World Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation Agreement, and with this agreement, these countries guarantee to protect the noted sites and monuments. These sites and monuments are designated on the list according to World Heritage Criteria. In our country, Diyarbakir Walls with Hevsel Gardens were added by UNESCO on July 4, 2015, and Ephesus Antique City entered the list on July 5, 2015.
Protected areas in Turkey according to UNESCO are:
1. Cappadocia and Göreme National Park: Cappadocia has emerged as a result of millions of years erosion by the wind and plates of ash and lavas from the eruptions of Hasandağı, Erciyes, and Güllüdağ. Cappadocia and Göreme National Park were added to the UNESCO list in 1985.
2. Divriği Ulu Mosque and Hospital: Divriği Ulu Mosque was built by Mengücekli Beyi Ahmet Shah between 1228 – 1229. The hospital was built by the architect Hürrem Şah, son of Ahlatlı Muhlih, by the command of Turan Melek, wife of Ahmet Shah. Per decoration and planning, this mosque and the hospital are considered unique buildings. This place was also added to the UNESCO list in 1985.
3. Historical Places in Istanbul: İstanbul is at the intersection of Asia and Europe and has a deep historical background. It has traces of many civilizations and empires. Istanbul came to the UNESCO list in 1986.
4. Hattusha (Capital of the Hittites): Located in Çorum, Hattusha represents many wonders in the field of architecture and art. Hattusha is host to the remains of many eras. It was added by UNESCO in 1986.
5. Nemrut Mountain: Nemrut Mountain is located in Adıyaman and is one of the 8 wonders of the world. UNESCO added this spot in 1987.
6. Pamukkale and Hierapolis National Park: This natural site is in Denizli, and it includes travertine. It was included by UNESCO in 1988.
7. Xantos – Letoon: This ancient city is near Fethiye and consists of temples. UNESCO recognized it in 1988.
8. Safranbolu: Added by UNESCO in 1994, with its unique architecture and retrospective designs.
9. Troy Ancient City: The ancient city of Çanakkale was added by UNESCO in 1998.
10. Selimiye Mosque: This mosque, one of the most important structures of Mimar Sinan, was added to the UNESCO compilation in 2011.
11. Çatalhöyük Ruins: This is the oldest settlement in the world. Çatalhöyük, which reflects a history of nine thousand years, entered UNESCO list in 2012.
12. Cumalıkızık Village: This village, which preserves a 1300-year-old culture and is located in Bursa, was recognized by UNESCO in 2014.
13. Pergamon Ancient City: Its history dates back to 6 BC. It is located in İzmir and was added by UNESCO in 2014.
14. Diyarbakir Walls and Hevsel Gardens: This area hosted many diverse cultures and civilizations.
15. Ephesus Antique City: Ephesus Antique City, a unique cultural heritage, is located in Izmir. It is an important pilgrimage site and it came to the UNESCO list in 2015.
16. Ani Ruins: 17th century Armenian city ruins near Kars city, which has listed in 2016.
17. Aphrodisias: Ancient Hellenistic city ruins in Aydın. It was listed by UNESCO in 2017.
18. Göbeklitepe: One of the oldest human settlements on earth in Şanlıurfa. It has been listed in 2018.