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From <http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/dispute-heats-up-betweengermany-and-turkey-over-contested-artifacts-a-8883 8.html!

: """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" #useum $ars %nkara &emands %rtifacts from 'erlin (erman museums and archaeologists fear that )urkey is punishing them for not repatriating contested artifacts. *n a +,*-(-. interview/ )urkish 0ulture #inister 1mer 2elik e3plains why )urkey is demanding both the artifacts and an apology. % dispute is heating up between )urkey and $estern countries/ with ancient artifacts at stake. 4n one side/ %nkara vehemently insists museums/ including (erman ones/ should return valuable archaeological treasures that )urkey alleges are wrongly in their possession. (erman archaeologists/ on the other hand/ refuse categorically to comply/ saying the disputed items entered (erman collections legally/ most of them over a century ago. )his battle over anti5uities is affecting relations between the two countries. 6igh-ranking officials at ma7or museums in 'erlin say the )urkish government has broken agreements concerning cooperation between the countries and is deliberately making it harder for (erman archaeologists to work in )urkey. )he latter are worried that/ in 89:3/ they may for the first time be denied coveted e3cavation permits. +peaking with +,*-(-. last year/ 6ermann ,ar;inger/ president of the ,russian 0ultural 6eritage Foundation/ which oversees the state-owned museums in 'erlin/ harshly critici;ed the )urkish government. <#uch is being lost because )urkey doesn=t have an established system for preserving historical artifacts/ as (ermany does/< ,ar;inger said. 6e also accused %nkara of increasing arrogance/ saying that cultural heritage <is the last thing they think about.< ,ar;inger=s comments provoked outrage in )urkey. <6is message is: =)hey have no idea what they=re doing and don=t take care of things/ so we=ll take care of them instead for the sake of the common good/=< raged the )urkish daily 6>rriyet. ?ow )urkish 0ulture and )ourism #inister 1mer 2elik/ @@/ responds in a +,*-(-. interview to ,ar;inger=s criticism. 2elik took office in Aanuary and is seen as a close confidant of ,rime #inister Becep )ayyip -rdogan of the Austice and &evelopment ,arty C%D,E/ the country=s conservative/ *slamic governing party. Aust as his predecessor did/ 2elik is calling for the return of archaeological artifacts originating in )urkey. )he ob7ects would find a new home in %nkara=s #useum of the 0ivili;ations. ,lanned as the world=s largest museum building/ this facility is to open its doors in 8983/ on the :99th anniversary of the founding of the )urkish state. +,*-(-.: #inister 2elik/ during your recent trip to 'erlin/ you visited the ,ergamon %ltar/ one of the main attractions at the city=s #useum *sland. &o you believe the altar belongs here in 'erlin or in )urkey/ where it was discovered by (erman archaeologist 0arl 6umann in the : th centuryF 2elik: )he ,ergamon %ltar is an important piece of our global cultural heritage. %s a matter of principle/ it=s preferable that cultural artifacts be displayed in the place from which they come. *nternational laws concerning the preservation of such cultural treasures stipulate as much.

+,*-(-.: *n other words/ you believe it should be returned to )urkeyF 2elik: )he e3cavations in ,ergamon were carried out by (erman archaeologists/ with whom we have maintained a very close relationship for about :@9 years. )his particular artifact was turned over to (erman authorities/ with the necessary permits/ during the time of the 4ttoman -mpire. $e are not asking for the return of such artifacts. 6owever/ we do want to work/ through negotiations and simple persuasion/ to bring back items that left )urkey without permits and therefore illegally. +,*-(-.: Boughly how many ob7ects in 'erlin would this affectF 2elik: )here are five pieces we are trying to obtain through official channels. )hese include the sarcophagus from the tomb of 6aci *brahim Geli/ a fisherman statue from %phrodisias and the prayer niche from the 'eyhekim #os5ue in Donya. $e are also asking for the return of a window frame from the same mos5ue/ and of *;nik tiles from the ,iyale ,asha #os5ue in *stanbul. +,*-(-.: )he talk in 'erlin had only been of three items. %nd 6ermann ,ar;inger/ the president of the ,russian 0ultural 6eritage Foundation/ considers your claims baseless. 6e also points out that he voluntarily returned the +phin3 of 6attusa to you H 2elik: ... our people have found documents in 4ttoman archives which show that we have a claim to the ob7ects * named. +,*-(-.: ,ar;inger accuses you of breaking your promise to loan pieces to 'erlin museums in e3change. 6e describes )urkey=s conduct as <sometimes very nearly chauvinistic.< 2elik: )here=s one thing *=d like to e3press very clearly/ and that is that we e3pect an apology from #r. ,ar;inger for his use of the term <chauvinistic.< * am a political scientist and 5uite familiar with the meaning of the word. )he use of this term is unacceptable. +,*-(-.: (ermany has a great desire to work together with )urkey/ such as in putting on e3hibitions. *s there no common ground where you can meetF 2elik: $e are glad to offer items on loan. For e3ample/ we wanted to loan a portrait head of %le3ander the (reat to a (erman museum for an e3hibition. )hat fell through because the obligatory insurance sum was too high for the e3hibition=s organi;ers. $e most certainly believe in win-win solutions when it comes to cooperating over cultural artifacts. +till/ on the issue of restitution/ we e3pect the other party to fulfill its obligations. +,*-(-.: (ermany doesn=t see any obligation here. 2elik: $e are only asking for what is rightfully ours. *n the 4ttoman -mpire/ the e3port of artifacts was forbidden by law from :88@ to : 9I. 4nly the sultan was allowed to circumvent this law. )he five artifacts *=ve named/ which are now in 'erlin/ were without a doubt e3ported from )urkey illegally/ which is why we are now asking for their return. +,*-(-.: 0an that really be determined so definitivelyF )he relevant documentation is not always still available. %nd 'erlin is 5uite certain that the prayer niche from Donya arrived on (erman soil

legally. 2elik: *n this case/ it=s important to ask according to what logic a :3th-century prayer niche from central %natolia is being displayed in 'erlin. % prayer niche is not 7ust an archaeological ob7ect to be admired. *t also has religious significance and is the most important architectural component of a mos5ue/ the house of prayer for #uslims. ?ot even a sultan had the authority to give such a thing as a gift or as part of a treaty. $hy/ then/ should a prayer niche be e3hibited here in 'erlinF *t is as if we put the apse of the 'erlin 0athedral on display in the *stanbul %rchaeological #useum. *t=s always important to understand the other party=s perspective. +,*-(-.: )his conflict over restitution is having a broader effect. .eading archaeologists now worry you may revoke the e3cavation permits for (erman archaeologists working in )urkey. 2elik: )hat is not the case. *n fact/ * would like to strengthen our collaboration with (erman archaeologists. *n order to do so/ however/ certain conditions must of course be fulfilled. +,*-(-.: %nd what are thoseF 2elik: )ake a look at the e3cavations Aapanese archaeologists are conducting in Daman-DalehJy>k/ around :99 kilometers CI9 milesE southeast of %nkara. )he Aapanese have been active there for over 8K years/ and we will continue to grant them permits for another 89 or 39 years. )heir work is e3emplary. %fter they complete an e3cavation/ they restore the ruins they have found and re-establish an intact environment at the e3cavation site. +,*-(-.: %nd the (ermans don=tF 2elik: * don=t want to make generali;ations/ because some (erman teams do conduct their work with great care. 'ut there are also many that simply leave sites however they happen to look at the end of an e3cavation/ disorderly and without having been restored in any way -a deserted landscape. +uch an approach leaves us thinking: )his is not sensitive treatment of valuable cultural artifacts. +,*-(-.: )hose are serious accusations. 2elik: *n 89:9/ in (Jbekli )epe/ a prehistoric archaeological site in southeastern %natolia/ an ::/K99-year-old statue was stolen. For the duration of an e3cavation/ the head of the e3cavation team is responsible for the security of the site and of the artifacts found there. *n this case/ the person in charge was a (erman. +,*-(-.: )hat/ too/ is a serious accusation. 2elik: *=m not saying the head of the e3cavation team stole the statue/ simply that he didn=t take the necessary security measures. (ermany paid a fine for what happened. %t the time/ we did consider ending that e3cavation/ but we decided to give the (ermans a second chance. *f we had harbored pre7udices against (erman archaeologists/ we would have had sufficient grounds for halting the e3cavation. <%ccusations of 0hauvinism< +,*-(-.: *n reality/ the <environmental measures< you ask foreign e3cavation teams to take serve commercial interests/ namely/ providing )urkey with attractively restored ancient sites surrounded by

convenient parking lots for tour buses. 2elik: * am asking for no more than what is standard around the world. 0ompare the Aapanese team=s work with the (erman e3cavation site in #iletus. $ork there has been going on for ::@ years/ and the site still doesn=t even have proper drainage. )here are e3traordinarily important cultural artifacts there/ items that are part of our global cultural heritage -- and they=re submerged in water. +,*-(-.: +o/ are you saying that the bill for all these measures -which you call infrastructure/ but which also benefit )urkey=s tourism industry -- should be footed by (erman and other international e3cavation teamsF 2elik: )hat is actually stipulated by the law/ which assigns this responsibility to the director of the e3cavation. 'oth landscaping and all relevant security measures are to be financed by the e3cavation team. )he Aapanese/ and likewise the 'elgians/ manage this e3tremely well. +,*-(-.: % team of French archaeologists/ though/ was forced to halt its e3cavations in )urkey. *s this related to the fact that the .ouvre also refuses to return artifacts to your countryF 2elik: )he French simply lacked the financial means to work in the appropriate way. )hey also lacked the sensitivity needed for such e3cavations. +,*-(-.: 4nce again/ is it not true that the French were stopped in part because they did not comply with your re5uests for the return of specific itemsF 2elik: +uch a connection has been repeatedly alleged/ but it is simply not the case. $e revoked the permit because the team was not meeting the necessary standards. $e have done the same with other )urkish and foreign teams. )hat is the only reason. +,*-(-.: *sn=t the problem actually more e3tensiveF #a7or museums around the world/ including the 'ritish #useum in .ondon/ complain that )urkey is not very cooperative/ for e3ample/ when it comes to loaning pieces for e3hibitions. 2elik: $e e3pect a certain standard. $e can=t loan pieces to 7ust anyone who asks. +,*-(-.: )he 'ritish #useum isn=t 7ust anyone. 2elik: ?o/ nor is the ,ergamon #useum 7ust anyone. $e always look at how past collaborations with the same institutions went/ whether the collaboration was successful or not. 0ollaborations only work when both sides make an honest effort. +,*-(-.: %nd yet the impression we=re left with is that your primary interest lies in thinning out anti5uities collections around the world. Lou=re asking for the return of thousands of ob7ects/ but you don=t have a firm legal basis for doing so. #any of these artifacts have been in these museums for over :99 years. 2elik: *n his interview with +,*-(-./ #r. ,ar;inger said that all the treasures the +oviets stole from (ermany during and after $orld $ar ** must be returned to (ermany. $e consider this legitimate. *t is then also logical to say that everything that was e3ported from )urkey without a permit should be given back. $e can=t say that one thing is

right but the other wrong. +,*-(-.: )he crucial factor is the way in which the items were obtained. For e3ample/ a legal purchase/ even one conducted a long time ago/ is very different from an army=s looting. %nd then there=s the pride and 7oy of your *stanbul %rchaeological #useum/ the @th-century '0 %le3ander +arcophagus/ which archaeologists e3cavated in .ebanon in :88M. %re you willing to give up this treasureF 2elik: )hat=s a different matter. $hen the %le3ander +arcophagus was discovered/ .ebanon was part of the 4ttoman -mpire/ and the artifacts were brought to *stanbul on the basis of the laws in effect at the time. Beturning to the ob7ects mentioned before/ Donya and ,ergamon have never been (erman soil. $e also see no legal or ethical differentiation between art looted by an army and art taken abroad without a permit. +,*-(-.: 6ow will things continue from here between you and the foreign archaeologists working in )urkeyF )his is/ after all/ a matter of e3cavating an important chapter in human history. 2elik: * would like to cooperate even more/ and even more closely/ with (erman archaeologists. 'ut it=s important to reali;e that making accusations of chauvinism pushes these relations toward an impasse. +uch accusations make it impossible to continue working together. +,*-(-.: #inister 2elik/ thank you for this interview. *nterview conducted by #arco -vers and Nlrike DnJfelO translated from the (erman by -lla 4rnstein

%rchaeology strains (erman-)urkish relations %n argument between (ermany and )urkey about ancient treasures is escalating. )urkey wants its treasures back/ but (erman archaeologists say )urkish sites are being e3ploited for tourism. %rchaeology often has a lot to do with politics - the current argument between (ermany and )urkey is a prime e3ample. 6ermann ,ar;inger/ head of the ,russian 0ultural 6eritage Foundation/ last &ecember accused )urkey of displaying <almost chauvinistic behavior.< *n reply/ the )urkish culture minister 1mer 0elik told (erman news maga;ine <&er +piegel< that he demanded an apology/ and he asked for five ancient ob7ects to be returned that are currently shown in museums in 'erlin. 6e claims they were taken out of )urkey illegally. ,ar;inger re7ects any accusations of illegality for three of these ob7ects: *n &ecember 89:8/ he said that the torso of the Fisherman of %phrodisias/ the sarcophagus from the 6aci *brahim Geli tomb and a :3th-century prayer niche were all ac5uired legally. 'ut <legal< is a fluid concept in the world of archaeology. )he e3port of ancient treasures from the 4ttoman -mpire has been prohibited by law since :88@. %t the same time though/ it wasn=t unusual to share the treasures discovered in e3cavations with teams from abroad. +pecial permission was often given to take ob7ects out of the country/ and there was a flourishing black market. )he issue is often less a matter of legality than of morality. ,ar;inger says the torso of the Fisherman of %phrodisias came to (ermany legally

*n this conte3t/ the tone that )urkey has recently used in its 5uest to get ancient treasures back from museums like the #etropolitan in ?ew Lork and the 'ritish #useum in .ondon is surprising. )he )urkish culture minister=s announcement that he=s only asking for ob7ects <that are rightfully ours< is a sign of )urkey=s new-found - some might say/ e3cessive - self-confidence. 4ther countries have already felt the effects: two French e3cavation sites have been recently shut down. Fight for the +phin3 *n 89::/ then 0ulture #inister -rtugrul (>nay reclaimed the more than 3/999-year-old +phin3 of 6attusa/ which had been shown in a 'erlin museum since $orld $ar *. *f the +phin3 were not returned/ said the minister/ the (erman %rchaeological *nstitute would lose its e3cavation permits in )urkey. )he +phin3 was indeed returned/ but without recognition of any legal claim: it was a goodwill gesture/ according to ,ar;inger. *n return/ he was hoping for substantial loans from )urkey for a big ,ergamon e3hibition in 'erlin last year. 'ut the loans never arrived. )he agreement on more intensive cooperation between the two countries= museums and archaeologists which was signed at the time seems to have been merely for show. ,ar;inger has complained publicly that )urkey hasn=t kept a single promise. 6e says there have only been more demands for the return of ob7ects/ as well as accusations that (erman archaeologists left <devastated landscapes< at e3cavation sites. )he +phin3 of 6attusa was returned to )urkey after )urkish threats to ban (erman archaeologists %ccording to -rnst ,ernicka/ long-time head of e3cavation in )roy/ there is no truth in that. 6e believes )urkey is using archaeologists as hostages to get the ob7ects back that they want. .ast year/ ,ernicka says/ he and other top archaeologists were asked by the )urkish authorities to go to (erman museums to call for the return of a number of ancient ob7ects. )urkish authorities deny this. %nother problem ,ernicka sees is that )urkey is keen to conserve the sites and use them for tourism rather than for ongoing research. )he government wants <archaeology in action.< 'ut that often gets in the way of research/ says ,ernicka. %ncient cities under water )he )urkish historian -dhem -ldem is also unhappy about the e3pectation that foreign archaeologists are e3pected to ensure that their sites are suitable for tourists. 6e puts it down to <growing nationalism< and the victory of economic interests. <)he fact that archaeology is part of the #inistry of 0ulture and )ourism shows how ambivalent the situation is/< says -ldem. 6e also laments the government=s double standards. *f it makes economic sense/ the authorities have no problem sacrificing important sites like %llianoi or 6asankeyf/ which are on a level with ,ompeii/ for a dam pro7ect. %llianoi/ an ancient city close to ,ergamum/ has already been flooded. %nd despite international protest/ the same fate awaits 6asankeyf. &espite international protests/ 6asankeyf will soon be partly submerged by a reservoir

<*nternational archaeology can only flourish in an atmosphere of mutual respect/< says Feli3 ,irson/ head of the (erman %rchaeological *nstitute in *stanbul. 6e doesn=t approve of the harsh tone that has dominated the (erman-)urkish debate recently. 6e sees the e3cavations in %natolia/ where <decisive developments in the history of man were continued/ enriched and accelerated/< as an international task. 0onfrontation doesn=t help anybody )oday/ there are many teams already working under (erman leadership but with international membership. *t=s not 7ust (erman archaeologists who believe that dealing with $orld 0ultural 6eritage sites should be a common task not restricted by national borders. )hey also agree that 5uestions need to be asked about the origin of ancient treasures which are taken out of their country. 'ut it is clear that political confrontation and rigid demands don=t help anybody/ including )urkey. )he habit of reclaiming archaeological finds could come back to haunt *stanbul if .ebanon decides to ask for the return of the famous sarcophagus of %le3ander. *t was taken to *stanbul=s %rchaeological #useum in :88M/ during the time of the 4ttoman -mpire.