Turkey restores Ottoman-era building in Ethiopian city
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency head hopes restored building will serve as one of the key symbols of Harar city
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) has completed the restoration of a 100-year-old Ottoman-era building in the Ethiopian city of Harar.
The consulate building was built during the Ottoman era in 1912 in Harar city; however, the building neared collapse after years of neglect before TIKA began a restoration project two years ago.
“We worked to get the original Ottoman architecture back at the forefront,” Dr. Hamit Pilehvarian, head of the project, told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
Pilehvarian said families from the Ottoman period had lived in Harar and some buildings similar to classical Turkish architecture could still be found in the city.
He said the roofs of some old buildings in the city had the special Alaturka tiles that reflected their Ottoman heritage. Pilehvarian said his team also restored hand drawings on the ceilings of the second floor, inspired by the local Harar architecture.
Fazil Akin Erdogan, TIKA’s Addis Ababa coordinator, said: “We think the restored building will be one of the symbols of the city,” adding the building will soon be opened to visitors.
The historic city of Harar in eastern Ethiopia is on UNESCO`s World Cultural Heritage. The wall surrounding the city was built between the 13th and 16th centuries.
The majority of Harar`s population is Muslim. The city has 82 mosques, three of which date back to the 10th century; there are also 102 shrines in the city. The townhouses with their exceptional interior design constitute the most spectacular part of Harar’s cultural heritage, according to UNESCO.