World Bulletin / News Desk
An academic has claimed that Dolmabahçe Palace in İstanbul's Beşiktaş district is a ticking time bomb in danger of imminent explosion due to excessive methane gas in its ventilation pipes, according to a news report at ntvmsnbc.com.
Professor Kubilay Kaptan of the İstanbul Aydın University Disaster Education, Application and Research Center (AFAM) has prepared a report regarding the structural safety of Dolmabahçe Palace, located along the European coastline of the Bosporus Strait, in which he reveals that the palace is the subject of four major threats.
One concern is that a 14-storey hotel under construction near the palace, which has seven floors below ground level, has caused cracks in the palace's art gallery and museum of collections. The Turkish Directorate of National Palaces has said that while the palace has survived for 150 years with no serious cracks or damage, withstanding earthquakes, the damage caused by the hotel construction poses great and unpreventable risks to the structure and may cause a collapse capable of killing people and destroying valuable objects in the museum.
The second threat faced by the palace is from methane gas produced by sewage in ventilation pipes. The pipes, which were filled with sewage due to an accident that occurred two years ago, are full of potentially combustible methane gas, the report says.
The third threat is from the huge oil tankers passing through the Bosporus Strait, as in the event of fire erupting on an oil tanker the palace would most likely sustain significant damage.
The fourth is the planned expansion of Beşiktaş's İnönü Stadium or the raising of its walls, which would adversely affect the view of the palace as seen from the Bosporus.
Built between 1843 and 1856, the palace served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, with a 22-year interval (1887-1909) in which Yıldız Palace was used.