Turkey has been elected as a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for the period 2023-2027 during the 24th session of the General Assembly of States Parties held in Paris. This marks Turkey’s return to the committee after a six-year gap. The announcement was made by Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, who expressed his excitement on Twitter.
Turkey garnered the highest number of votes, with 137 in favor, during the elections at the General Assembly. Minister Ersoy highlighted the significance of Turkey’s role in the decision-making process for world heritage list candidates during its 4-year membership. Turkey, having previously served on the committee between 1983-1989 and 2013-2017, is poised to contribute its experience and knowledge in managing and protecting 21 world heritage sites representing various civilizations in Anatolia since the Neolithic period.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized Turkiye’s commitment to reflecting its experience on an international level. The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Committee oversees the World Heritage List, where 21 sites in Turkiye are registered. The committee meets annually to discuss and make decisions on world heritage matters.
Turkey’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador Gülnur Aybet, expressed that the trust placed in Turkey by other UNESCO member countries is evident in its election with the highest number of votes. Ambassador Aybet reiterated Turkey’s dedication to contributing continuously to the committee’s vital work in preserving global cultural heritage.
Turkey’s commitment to protecting cultural heritage, irrespective of beliefs, was underscored by Ambassador Aybet. Turkey proudly hosts 21 World Heritage sites, reflecting the diversity of its cultural heritage. The country’s representation on the World Heritage Committee is seen as an opportunity to further contribute to the protection and promotion of cultural heritage on the international stage.