Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and Prof. Mustafa Aydın, Rector of Kadir Has University have signed an important partnership agreement for collaboration in the protection of World Heritage Sites. With the signing of the agreement a UNESCO Chair in “Management and Promotion of World Heritage Sites: New Media and Community Involvement”, formed to help protect and promote World Heritage Sites begins its work in Kadir Has University
The UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, gave a talk on the 7th of January entitled “Protecting the Past for a Better Future for All” at Kadir Has University’s Cibali Campus during her official visit to Turkey as a part of activities celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of UNESCO.
A protocol was also signed by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Prof. Mustafa Aydın, Rector of Kadir Has University to establish at Kadir Has University a UNESCO Chair in the `Management and Promotion of World Heritage Sites: New Media and Community Involvement`. The UNESCO Chair at Kadir Has University, led by Kadir Has University and supported by the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO, aims to become a center of excellence contributing to the protection of the cultural heritage in Turkey and the region.
Prof. Mustafa Aydın, Rector of Kadir Has University, in a speech at the ceremony, stated that it was a great pleasure for the University to be hosting Ms Bokova and to be working in collaboration with UNESCO to protect the world`s cultural heritage, which symbolizes the formation and history of numerous civilizations, and to help pass this heritage on to future generations with better understanding through research. Prof. Aydın continued his speech as follows:
“First of all I would like to congratulate UNESCO on the 70th anniversary of its creation and on the outstanding work it has accomplished for the preservation and protection of the history and cultures of the world and on the important role it has played in the coordination of the passing on of this world heritage to future generations. The Kadir Has University UNESCO Chair will carry out its work in the areas of research, education and consultancy. In the first instance, within the scope of a summer school for international Master’s students, projects aiming to promote the World Heritage Sites in Turkey and to expand community involvement through new media will be established. This will aim to increase awareness and through the use of digital technologies (tablets, smartphones, 3D animations, information systems etc.) to increase and broaden participation. One of the central tenets of UNESCO is to use culture to promote peace. This new Chair’s activities are in accordance with the strategies announced by UNESCO for 2014-2021. This Chair will host important research and interdisciplinary work on the scientific, social and ethical aspects of sustainable development policies, provide international scientific collaboration for peace, sustainability and social inclusion and to protect and pass on our cultural heritage to future generations, supporting creativity and universal access to knowledge”.
Reminding the audience that Turkey hosts 13 sites in the UNESCO World Heritage List, Prof. Aydin added: “52 sites from Turkey’s rich cultural and archaeological treasures are candidates to be included in the World Heritage List. All these sites will be areas for research for the Kadir Has University UNESCO Chair. In addition to expert Turkish scholars three very important stakeholders will participate in this research: The Turkish Cultural Foundation, Bilkom The Digital Life Coach and The World Heritage Travellers Association. With this important Chair I believe we will carry out important projects which will increase awareness of our cultural heritage both in our community and internationaly”