Türkiye’s ancient city of Gordion poised to enter UNESCO World Heritage list


ANKARA, 15 September (BelTA — Anadolu Agensy). — The ancient city of Gordion, capital of the Phrygian civilization located around the Turkish capital of Ankara, famously also associated with Alexander the Great, is poised to enter the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Mursel Yildizkaya, the mayor of Ankara’s Polatli district, where the city is located, said on Thursday that Gordion is one of the most important historical legacies.

Efforts to include Gordion, which is currently on the UNESCO’s Temporary Heritage list, in the permanent list are ongoing.

«This situation has created great excitement in our city. We believe it will make a significant contribution to tourism in Polatli, Ankara, and our country, and Gordion will become an important tourism destination,» Yildizkaya said.

In 2018, a protocol was signed by the Culture and Tourism Ministry to uncover the entire ancient city, which houses hundreds of historical artifacts and mounds.

The decision on whether Gordion will be included in the UNESCO list will be finalized at a meeting to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sept. 16-20.

«We believe that we are very close to a happy ending on the road to UNESCO for Gordion. As a result of our efforts, with the support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, we are now counting the days,” he said.

Gordian knot

In 333 BC, Alexander the Great famously dealt with the Gordian Knot (also spelled Gordion), an intricate knot that secured the yoke to the pole of a Phrygian wagon on the acropolis of a city.

This wagon had historical connections to figures such as Midas and Gordias; legend has it that whoever could untangle the knot would gain great power and could “conquer Asia.”

Instead of untying it, Alexander instead took his sword and cut through it. Two years later, in 331 BC, he defeated the Persian Emperor Darius, dealing the final blow to his Asian empire.


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