The restoration project protocol signing ceremony was held for the restoration of the historical Vaniköy Mosque in accordance with its original form. Making a statement at the ceremony, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya said as follows: "Our historical artifacts, which are the legacy of our ancestors to all of us, are entrusted to us by our civilization. The historical Vaniköy Mosque will be restored in accordance with its original."
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya, Vakıflar Second Regional Director Musa Akdeniz, property owner Uğur Vanioğlu on behalf of Vani Foundation, and Orhan Cemal Kalyoncu, the Chairman of Kalyon Foundation, who undertook the restoration, attended the Signing Ceremony of the Historical Vaniköy Mosque Restoration Protocol, which was severely damaged in the fire that broke out on Sunday, November 15.
"Fire-Related Investigation Continues"
Istanbul Governor Yerlikaya, who made a press release before the protocol signing ceremony held in front of the historical Vaniköy Mosque, started his speech by expressing his regret over the damage to the historical mosque.
Reminding that the historical Vaniköy Mosque is one of the most beautiful buildings of the Bosphorus, Governor Yerlikaya stated as follows: "The Vaniköy Mosque, one of the most beautiful structures of Istanbul and the Bosphorus, unfortunately burned down. As you already know, the fire was intervened in a short period of time. Our teams were mobilized to extinguish the fire from the land and the sea and the fire was taken under control in a short time. Thank God there were no casualties or injuries. I would like to thank everyone who took part in extinguishing the fire. The investigation regarding the fire continues." and said that the investigation by the Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor's Office was ongoing.
"Our historical artifacts, which are the legacy of our ancestors to all of us, are entrusted to us by our civilization"
Emphasizing that historical artifacts are entrusted to us, Governor Yerlikaya stated as follows: "Our historical artifacts, which are the legacy of our ancestors to all of us, are entrusted to us by our civilization. Protecting them as they deserve and carrying them into the future is our biggest responsibility. We feel this responsibility deeply for Vaniköy Mosque. We didn't waste any time for it, we can't. We are here for this today. I should especially mention that the burning of this beautiful mosque, I know, affected everyone so very much. We were askes many times: "Will it be possible to restore this artwork once again?" Istanbul lovers continue to ask this question.
Our Esteemed President has been following the issue closely as from the outbreak of the fire. For this beautiful mosque, which is a precious part of the silhouette of Istanbul, we received the wishes of many of our Istanbul citizens indicating as follows: "I hope it will be restored immediately in accordance with the original." We will soon affix our signatures so that this wish can come true. Istanbulites and everyone can rest assured. This place is an artwork of foundation as a mosque and it will be restored as a mosque, in accordance with its original, if God allows us." and he emphasized that the historical mosque will be renewed and opened to worship.
"Restoration Works Will Be Started Immediately"
Stating that the restoration project contract of the historical mosque was signed by the 2nd Regional Directorate of Foundations shortly before the fire occurred, Governor Yerlikaya continued his speech as follows: "In this framework, a contract for drawings was signed by our 2nd Regional Directorate under the General Directorate of Foundations for the restoration works on February 07, 2019, and the survey and restitution projects were submitted to the Istanbul Regional Conservation Board No.6 on October 25, 2019. In addition, on October 10, 2019, the Vaniköy Mosque Restoration Project was submitted to the Bosphorus Zoning Directorate. Therefore, all the procedures for the restoration of the mosque was actually about to be completed.
The restoration projects were submitted to the Board from the Boğaziçi Zoning Directorate on November 02, 2020. However, after this fire, there is a new situation. The Istanbul Conservation Regional Board No.6 will convene on November 24, 2020 and take decisions regarding the damage status of the building and the emergency interventions to be carried out, and then revisions will be made in the restoration project, if deemed necessary.
Restoration works will start immediately, or if they say restoration would not save the building and a reconstruction project is necessary, the works to that end will start immediately. We have all the data for this. As part of the restoration project of the mosque, 3D laser scanning images were recorded with very advanced technology. Based on these data, we will restore Vaniköy Mosque in accordance with its original." and he underlined that they will act in line with the decision of the board that will convene on November 24.
"It will be Followed-Up meticulously by our Governorship"
Istanbul Governor Yerlikaya stated that, after the fire that occurred in the historical mosque, Orhan Cemal Kalyoncu, the Chairman of Kalyon Foundation, who was also a resident of Vaniköy, called the Governorship of Istanbul and conveyed his desire to restore the mosque in accordance with its original.
Governor Yerlikaya continued as follows: "We thanked him for this sensitive approach. Our 2nd Regional Directorate of Foundations followed-up the subject matter and we contact with the owner Mehmet Vani Foundation and prepared the protocol under the supervision of our Governorship. With this protocol, our Regional Directorate of Foundations will provide all kinds of support in terms of legal, administrative and technical matters.
With the instructions of our Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, all processes will be followed-up meticulously by the General Directorate of Foundations, our 2nd Regional Directorate of Foundations and our Governorship.
Kalyon Foundation, which undertook the reconstruction and restoration works, will also carry out the necessary works in line with the Board decisions. Site delivery will be made immediately within 10 days. We hopefully expect the project to be completed in 700 days, so within two years.
I would like to thank the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kalyon Foundation, Mr. Orhan Cemal Kalyoncu and the management of Kalyon Foundation, who will contribute to this service from the preparation of the protocol until the opening of our mosque, and the 2nd Regional Directorate of Foundations on behalf of the General Directorate of Foundations and the executives of the Mehmet Vani Foundation.
I would also like to thank you, esteemed members of the press and dear Istanbulites, for your sensitivity towards Vaniköy Mosque. May it be beneficial to all of us".
Following the press release, Vaniköy Mosque Restoration Project protocol was signed and investigations were carried out at the fire scene.