Turkey: Eshab-i Kehf Kulliye eyes UNESCO heritage list

By Ismail Hakki Demir

KAHRAMANMARAS, Turkey (AA) – Eshab-i Kehf Kulliye (Islamic-Ottoman Social Complex) in Turkey's southeastern Kahramanmaras province is preparing to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The complex in Afsin district along with Jesus Masjid, which was built in A.D. 446, was accepted into the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage on April 13, 2015.

"Eshab-i Kehf – the Seven Sleepers – (the companions of cave) is a narrative illustrating the interaction of different cultures in a process dating from Paganism to Christianity and then to Islam," according to UNESCO website.

Fatih Mehmet Guven, Afsin Mayor, told Anadolu Agency that they want to apply for the UNESCO's World Heritage list in 2019.

"I believe after we get included in the permanent list, we will be able to increase the number of tourists visiting the site, especially foreigners," Guven said.

Guven said they want everyone in Turkey to see Eshab-i Kehf.