Dozens of Ottoman era monuments in the Balkans are restored as part of a project by Turkey carried out in various countries. The project’s aim is to preserve historical buildings of the Ottoman era for future generations.
In particular, 47 historical buildings, such as mosques, Mevlevi lodges, dervish lodges, shrines, fountains and baths, have been restored in the period 2008-2016 as part of a project by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA).
The Ali Riza Efendi House, which belonged to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, located in FYROM, has been restored. Also, the Mevlevi lodge in Sarajevo, a significant centre of a cultural network in the Ottoman Era, has been restored. The lodge was built in 1462 and would connect regions of Anatolia and the Balkans, such as Damascus, Konya, Crete, Plovidiv, Thessaloniki, Skopje and Budapest. The restored building is now serving as a Balkans Mevlava Research Centre. The Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge, also referred to as Drina Bridge and part of the UNESCO world heritage list, has also been restored. The structure was built by Mimar Sinan, a famous Ottoman architect, in the period 1571-1577.
TIKA operates in 53 countries of Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Middle East. It was established in 1992 and is a government-run agency. It has carried out various restoration, many in the Balkans, part of the Ottoman Empire for 550 years. Restoration of 14 projects is ongoing, and another 34 are due to be restored in the future.