Speaking at a ceremony held for the restoration of the historic Tophane Mosque, Alanya Mayor Hasan Sipahioğlu said the district in the western city of Antalya deserved to be on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Sipahioğlu said the paperwork had been finished and the town would apply to be included on the list soon, adding that Alanya would greatly benefit if it was accepted as a world heritage site. "If we can take the UNESCO badge, then we can say we have fulfilled our historic responsibility, as well as obtaining an important asset for the economy," Sipahioğlu said.
Stating that Alanya could benefit significantly from cultural tourism, the mayor said he believed being included on the list would increase the number of visitors a great deal.
"We are taking important steps forward," said Sipahioğlu, adding that 600,000 Turkish liras from property taxes had been spent on restoration works and a further 200,000 liras would also be required.
"First, we made roads for walkways, then we completed infrastructure work and finally we aim to revitalize cultural tourism by restoring items of historic value," he said. "We want to attract 1.5 million tourists who will come to visit the Alanya Castle, Tophane Quarters and the anticipated Marine Museum. Soon, we will start seeing Japanese tourists on the streets of Alanya."