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- Ani - City of 1001 Churches (some current articles)
Aug 19 2005
Tourists in Ani Ruins Taken out of Military Zone
By Murat Kaban
Published: Friday, August 19, 2005 http://www.zaman.com
The Turkish council of Ministers and General Staff abolished the military forbidden zone around the Ani Ruins on the Turkish-Armenian border in 2004.
About 15,000 tourists visited Ani antique city within a year. Since the ruin was under the context of a first level military zone, local and foreign ministers were not allowed to visit the region without permission and identity information.
The Culture and Turism Director in Kars, Kenan Bekis, said they expected about 20,000 to 30,000 tourists to visit the Ani Ruins.
Indicating that the Turkish Tourism and Culture Ministry are continuing environmental plans for the ruins, Bekis said excavations that began in the beginning of July would continue until September 15. "Tourists rarely visited Ani Ruins while it was protected as a military prohibited zone because visits required many procedural documents from military authorities and the museum directorate.
However, now everyone can buy tickets and visit the area. A Six-person cadre under the Turkish Finance Ministry will provide security in the Ani Ruins. Moreover, the Tourism Gendarme will determine the tourism zones to be protected. We also held a meeting with the Governor of Kars, Nevzat Turhan, at his presidency. We applied for the Gendarme's General Commandership for Ani's security.
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