Boğaziçi University has restored a 100-year-old cotton ginnery in the southern Mediterranean city of Tarsus and transformed the building into a cultural and archaeological center to host academic pursuits.
The former ginnery, now Gözlükule Mound Research Center, is situated next to the Saint Paul Church Memorial Museum in Tarsus, a city with a history that dates back more that 6,000 years.
Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı, Development Minister Lütfi Elvan and Boğaziçi University Rector, Mehmed Özkan attended the research center's opening ceremony on February 18.
Avcı stated that Gözlükule Mound was one of the three "very important" places for archaeological excavations during the Republican era. The mound, along with Troy and Alacahöyük, were the only three sites to receive official permission for excavation during the period.
Özkan explained that the region is rich in ancient history, and that archaeological excavations have been carried out in Tarsus since the 1930s. Academic findings from Gözlükule Mound in particular have shed light on the cultural history of Anatolia.
Professor Aslı Özyar, head of the Gözlükule Mound excavation team, said her group had found artifacts in the mound from the Bronze Age, as well as from the Hittite, Abbasid, and Roman periods.
"The University has provided us with a very important environment to carry out this research with the allocation of the ginnery building, which is located next to the mound," Özyar added.
A ginnery is a place where ginning, the act of removing the seeds from cotton, is done.