Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler delivered good news about the Ancient City of Allianoi, which is expected to be flooded by the Yortanl Dam. "Keep the faith! We will not give up. Considering our cultural treasures, historical legacy and the advantages of the dam, all together, we will find a reasonable solution," said Minister Guler.
"The farmers in the area are expecting water. On the other hand, there is a piece of art. We will find a reasonable solution considering both interests. The Izmir Committee for the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Heritage decided to prevent the operation of the dam until the end of the project on the ancient site. We are waiting for the final decision and are going to act accordingly," said Minister Guler, during a meeting organized by the I.zmir Branch of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MuSI.AD) at the Balçova Thermal Facilities last weekend.
"There is also a conservation project being conducted by the State Water Affairs (DSI.). The Izmir Committee for the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Heritage ratified the project and asked for the opinion of the Turkish Scientific Committee, which is comprised of experts and academics in the area of archeology. This scientific committee will gather within the next few days to make a decision. Yet, keep the faith! Instead of ruining our cultural heritage and historical treasures, we will find a solution bearing in mind both concerns," he said.
Historically, Allianoi is well known as the land of the god of health Asklepios. The ancient city was established during the Hellenistic Age and reached its peak during the reign of Roman emperor Hadrian. It was considered as one of the most important health centers for nearly 15 centuries, starting from the sixth century B.C. through to the 11th century.
Allianoi was famed for its thermal spring center and was known as the most important healing complexes during Hadrian's rule (117-138). Over the last five years, excavations revealed two impressive gates, marble stone-paved streets, shops, houses adorned with mosaics, large town squares, public fountains and rest areas after having a bath. Surprisingly, the latest findings, such as mosaics, marble stones and some wood pieces designed for houses, were the most protected ever seen on an archaeological site because they had been covered with alluvium soil. The ancient city would have been flooded by Yortanl" Dam's water last November, but a court ruling stopped DSI. from flooding the ancient city.