Children as Custodians of World Heritage Site Zeyrek 

Our project entitled ‘Children as Custodians of World Heritage Site Zeyrek’ has been supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Research Council of Turkey in 2016 as a 4004 Science and Public Engagement project. The target group of this project have been children aged between 8-10, living in Zeyrek, their parents and their teachers. We aim to continue this project in the following years.

World Heritage Zeyrek

Zeyrek district is one of the four areas of Istanbul, which was designated by UNESCO under the title ‘the historic areas of Istanbul’ as World Heritage Site in 1985. Zeyrek district is part of Fatih as a larger settlement.  Zeyrek Mosque (the former Byzantine church of the Pantokrator) is one of the most important Byzantine monuments in the neighbourhood. The timber houses dating 19th century, beginning of 20th century are considered as exceptional evidence of late Ottoman urban pattern in in the inscription. Zeyrek was one of the first designated urban sites in Turkey and the first conservation plans for the site were approved in 1979 and 1981. Today it is a dilapidated area with residents from low-income groups. However, there is a strong sense of neighbourhood and the streets are like a playground for children of Zeyrek.



Zeyrek together with Children

This project takes the advantage of Zeyrek’s existence as a neihbourhood where people use the urban space as a living area. It aims to raise awareness of the children who are living and going to school in Zeyrek, on the rich cultural heritage of the area. It also aims to strengthen the sense of belonging towards their neighbourhood in the long run.