The 2,600-year-old Knidos Antique City near Datça has been recently occupying the headlines not for the new findings, but for the claims about the head of excavation team, Prof. Ramazan Özgan from Selçuk University.
The remains were discovered by James Caulfield from Britain in 1749 and first excavated in 1857 by another British archaeologists Sir Charles Newton. Sostratus, the famous architect of Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt, one of the seven wonders of ancient world, was from Knidos. Mathematician and astronomer Eudoksus, the inventor of the first"sun clock� has also lived in Knidos. But Knidos, the important trade and harbour city, gained its real reputation with the Aphrodite cult and her sculpture, which is lost today. However, most of the precious remains were taken to the British Museum by Newton in 1857.
For many years, Knidos has been excavated by British and American archaeologists, who took most of the findings" monuments and even the marble coverage in the streets" away to their countries. As a result, the site exhibited a poor view although it was known as one of the most significant settlements in the ancient times. In 1988, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism decided to deliver the authorization of the excavations to a Turkish archaeologist, Prof. Ramazan Özgan of the Selçuk University. After 20 years of working in Knidos, recently Prof. Özgan has been facing a serious claim by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. He has been accused of demolishing the remains beyond repair and not delivering the findings to the ministry.
The ministry has appointed inspectors to investigate the claims after the report of Dr. Neşe Kırdemir, director of Marmaris Museum. Dr. Kırdemir had reported to the upper level officials Prof. Özgan's irregular records of the findings, adding that he did not deliver any pieces to the Marmaris Museum in 1990, 1991, 1994 and 1999. After the reports of the inspectors, the file about it has been decided to take the findings to court. The file accuses Prof. Özgan for demolishing the monuments and not delivering the findings to the ministry. Rejecting all the claims, Prof. Özgan has anti-claims against Dr. Kırdemir. He said he has admitted 600 pieces from Knidos excavation and all those have been registered. He said he thought Dr. Neşe Kırdemir behaved unlawful by opening the lock of the excavation depot on her own to count the findings.
After cancelling the permission of Prof. Ramazan Özgan to excavate, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has authorized Dr. Neşe Kırdemir to carry on the works in the famous, but fortuneless site.