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Major renovation efforts worth around 10 million Turkish Liras at Istanbul’s historic Topkapı Palace have started, after deep crevices were found in the treasury room of the Ottoman-era palace in July.

The discovery of the crevices prompted the partial closure of the Ottoman-era palace to tourists.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry had noted that serious cracks on the basement floor and static deformations in the treasury walls went “beyond the crack area and reached the discrete and slit levels.” The ministry risk analysis came after parts of a wall in the nearby Gülhane Park collapsed in April, killing two people and injuring five others.

Measurements were made at the foundation of the building and on its walls to determine the cause of the cracks. Efforts for the static strengthening measurements started last week.

The work comes after palace authorities asked for a detailed examination from the Istanbul 4th Protection Committee, which found that the issue stemmed from ground-based problems.

The expert report said the concrete cover used for the mansion’s dome and ceilings between 1940 and 1960 had put excessive weight on the building, which had reached the point of collapse along with seismic activities that periodically occur in the Marmara Sea.

Authorities say that in its current situation, the building would not survive a 5.0-magnitude earthquake and that a rapid intervention is necessary.

It has also been found that the archive and depot sections suffered from similar problems to the treasury, so the renovation team decided to open drilling and inspection holes in order to carry out soil investigation efforts. Officials will determine how to strengthen the ground after investigating why the ground deformations occurred.

The evaluation of instrumental observations and static results in order to strengthen the ground will cover a six month period.

In line with the renovation process, vibrations in the ground via drilling and inspection holes will be recorded at a total of 26 different points. The renovation work is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Opened with a glorious ceremony in 1890 in order to connect the Ottoman Empire to the rest of the world, the Istanbul Sirkeci Train Terminal Station will be converted into a museum. The protocol concerning the transformation of the station into the Istanbul City Museum and Railway Museum has been approved by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) City Council.

The restoration, maintenance and repair work of the station, which is regarded as an artifact for its architectural features, will be undertaken by the IBB. The metropolitan municipality had been searching for a place to display Istanbul’s special collections to domestic and international tourists for a while, so they applied to the State Railways of the Turkish Republic (TCDD) asking to allocate the Sirkeci Terminal Station to them. Agreeing with the metropolitan municipality’s request, the TCDD approved the handing over of the historical station to be used as a museum. The historical building, which will serve as a joint museum for both establishments, will also open for use for tourists.

Moreover, following the rehabilitation of the railway between Yenikapı Station and Sirkeci Terminal Station, the historical station will continue to operate in emergencies. The stores and shops in the station that belong to TCDD will be moved to another building.

Spread over 20,000 square meters, the Sirkeci Terminal Station will feature a museum of over 8,000 square meters and tourist and cultural facilities, such as a hotel and restaurant of over 12,000 square meters. Built by German architect August Jasmund upon the orders of Sultan Abdülhamid II, the Sirkeci Terminal Station was designed with an orientalist style, as it is located at the junction of West and East. The historical building, which has been through turning points in history for 120 years, is home to the only railway museum in Turkey. The small museum exhibits objects that were used in stations and trains and is visited by 75,000 people every year.

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