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13:38, 29 November 2011 Tuesday

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Saudi Arabia delays demolition of Ottoman porticos in Kaaba
Saudi Arabia delays demolition of Ottoman porticos in Kaaba
(File Photo)

Turkey\'s deputy prime minister said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia would send a delegation to Turkey regarding Ottoman porticos in Kaaba.

Turkey's deputy prime minister said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia would send a delegation to Turkey regarding Ottoman porticos in Kaaba.

Bekir Bozdag said Saudi Arabian administration delayed its decision regarding renovation of Kaaba for four months.

"Turkish government's talks with Saudi Arabian authorities have borne fruit, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu got a promise from his Saudi Arabian counterpart to halt demolition of porticos for four more months," Bozdag told AA correspondent in an exclusive interview.

Bozdag said Turkey and Saudi Arabia would negotiate enlarging Kaaba's area without demolishing the Ottoman porticos, and a Saudi Arabian delegation including architects and engineers as well as executives of Kaaba would visit Turkey in coming days.

"Turkish experts will propose an alternative project to Saudi Arabian administration to enlarge Kaaba's area by protecting the porticos," Bozdag said.

Ottoman Architect Sinan prepared the portico project during the rule of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Porticos were constructed during the rule of Sultan Selim II, son of Sultan Suleyman.

Almost 300 historical buildings around Kaaba have been demolished as part of initiatives to enlarge the area around Kaaba in the last 80 years.

Within the scope of the recent project, Saudi Arabia plans to construct hotels, shopping malls, parking lots and social facilities in a 230,000-square-meter-area.

(Reporting by Hasan Oymez)

AA



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