Hagia Sophia: Minaret Restoration Due to Structural Cracks

Hagia Sophia

Dismantling efforts have begun on one of the four minarets surrounding Hagia Sophia after structural cracks were discovered, signaling the start of necessary restoration work.

Partial Dismantling

Dr. Hasan Firat Diker, a member of the Scientific Committee for the Restoration of Hagia Sophia, explained that due to significant structural weaknesses identified in the Bayezid II minaret, initial repair efforts are focused on this specific structure. This strategic approach allows for a thorough assessment to determine whether the issues stem from seismic activity or corrosion of building materials. Once the extent of the damage is evaluated, restoration work will proceed accordingly, tailored to the unique characteristics of each minaret.

Installation of Steel Scaffolding

Temporary steel scaffolding has been installed around the minaret as a precautionary measure to protect visitors and workers during the restoration process. Dr. Diker clarified that this intervention aims to prevent any potential material dislodging that could compromise visitor safety. He emphasized that while the installation of scaffolding marks an initial step in the restoration process, the overarching goal is to address structural weaknesses not only in the minarets but also in the main structure of the building, encompassing its exterior and domes.

Statement from the Directorate General of Foundations

The Directorate General of Foundations issued a statement via social media, confirming the detection of a significant crack in the Bayezid minaret of Hagia Sophia Mosque during routine inspections. Following the decision of the Scientific Council and the Maintenance Committee, measures were promptly taken to ensure visitor safety. A steel platform was erected, supported by comprehensive safety scaffolding, to facilitate ongoing restoration efforts.

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