By Cuneyt Celik
KARS, Turkey (AA) – Eastern Turkey’s ancient city of Ani is a link in healthy ties between Ankara and Tbilisi, said Turkey’s ambassador to Georgia on Sunday.
“History is part of improving cultural relations between Turkey and Georgia. Ani is part of Turkish-Georgian relations, as well as regional relations,” Fatma Ceren Yazgan told Anadolu Agency during her tour of the ruins of Ani in the eastern Kars province.
Also called the World City, the City of 1,001 Churches, the Cradle of Civilizations, and the City with 40 Doors, the ancient city was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2016.
“Ani has a well-known status in UNESCO. I'm here to discover what we can do to introduce Ani to Georgia,” whose border is nearby, she said.
Interest in the site from both Turkish and foreign tourists grew when it joined UNECSO’s World Heritage List, Yazgan added.
Located along Turkey's border with Armenia, the site, including Islamic architectural work from the 11th and 12th centuries, was the capital of Armenian emperors from 961 to 1045 A.D. at the time of the Pakradouni Dynasty.
The first settlement in Ani dates back to 3,000 B.C, and in its history was home to nearly two dozen civilizations.
Tourists show great interest in the Mosque of Abul Manuchihr, the first Turkish mosque, the Amenaprgic Church, and the Ani Cathedral.
Yaren Zeynep Saglam, a visitor, expressed her admiration for the archeological site.
“There are great works here, the architecture is perfect. I’m really impressed,” she said.