Assessing the Transition From Traditional To Participatory Heritage Management In Turkey

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Turkey is in a unique geographical position with 18 nominated World Heritage Sites. Since 2005, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee requires a management system through participatory means to guarantee the protection of these sites. In this same year, Turkey enacted the associated legislation by proposing a new actor named site manager who has both local and professional knowledge with the main role of coordination of the site management system to ensure protection of the nominated property through participation. Public participation is therefore mandatory in the site management processes in Turkey. The aim of this research is to examine current site management practices in Turkey to understand how they address public participation inferring how the site manager scrutinises public participation during the development of the management plan. A combination of qualitative analyses is proposed to assess information contained in the documentation available for the development of management plans, including the management plans themselves. The focus is on understanding how knowledge from public participation is transferred, from focus group meetings to management plans, considering the actors, actions and outputs involved in the process. This case-based proof of concept provides a set of indicators to model public participation in site management processes to resolve the mistrust issues between authorities and communities and to gauge the level of knowledge transfer by the site manager.
heritage management, community involvement, participation, knowledge engineering, comparative analysis