Aspendos and Pisidia Cultural Heritage Management Projects

Years: 2013-Continues

Project Coordinator: Işılay Gürsu

Advisors: Lutgarde Vandeput, Veli Köse, Stephen Mitchell

Participants: Hakan Tarhan, Güldem Baykal Büyüksaraç, Michele Massa, Ümit Işın


Main Sponsors: BIAA, The Headley Trust 
Supporters to the Pisidia Appeal: Aurelius Charitable Trust, The Society of Dilettanti Charitable Trust Fund, Robert Kiln Charitable Trust, Leche Trust, the Stevenson Family Charitable Trust and individual donors. 


The joint CHM project of the British Institute at Ankara (BIAA) and the archaeology department of Hacettepe University (Ankara) started in January 2013 and builds on results of the Aspendos Archaeological Project and the Pisidia Survey Project. The project involves both a theoretical and practical aspect and focuses on two different case studies: Aspendos and Pisidia. A first phase of the project is dedicated to the preparation of a sustainable development for the cultural and natural heritage of Aspendos and its surroundings and deals with the parallel realities of a highly touristic site and its rural environment. The project aims at merging preservation of the site with the interests of local inhabitants and tourists, set against the wider background of the historic landscape. As a second phase, the creation of a regional cultural heritage management plan for Pisidia is foreseen. This ancient region is located in the Taurus Mountain range to the north of the Pamphylian plain and deals with entirely different problems. Whereas the Pisidian cities are located in a wildly beautiful mountain landscape, they are rarely visited and therefore an easy target for looting.

For more information about the projects please visit:


  • G. Baykal Büyüksaraç & I. Gürsu (forthcoming) Local Economy and Women’s Labour in the Context of Cultural Heritage: The Aspendos (Belkıs) Case in the proceedings “Women and Cultural Heritage” organized by the Adnan Menderes University.
  • I. Gürsu (forthcoming). Ankara İngiliz Arkeoloji Enstitüsü: Kültürel Miras Yönetimi Projesi, Aspendos ve Pisidya Bölgesi. 38. Araştırma Sonuçları Toplantısı. Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
  • I. Gürsu, “Archaeological- and eco-tourism in Pisidia”, “Heritage Turkey”, 2015, vol.5, pg 32-33 
  • I. Gürsu & L. Vandeput. Aspendos: cultural heritage management and the theatre, Heritage Turkey, 2015, vol 5, 34-35.
  • I. Gürsu, “The BIAA’s Cultural Heritage Management Project”, “Heritage Turkey”, 2014, vol.4, pg 37-39.
  • I. Gürsu, “Aspendos Project: In the Light of Organizational Restructurings in Cultural Heritage Management in Turkey” in the proceedings of the International  Conference on Sustainable Cultural Heritage Management: Societies, Institutions, and Networks edited by Lucia Marchegiani, October 2013. Aracne Editrice, Rome. 
  • I. Gürsu, “Cultural Heritage Management: the 2013 fieldwork season at Aspendos”,“Heritage Turkey”, 2013, vol.3, pg 32-34.

Dr. Işılay Gürsu works as the cultural heritage management fellow at the British Institute at Ankara and coordinates the Aspendos & Pisidia Region  Cultural Heritage Management project since 2013. The project concentrates on the ancient city of Aspendos in Pamphylia and on the Pisidia region in Southwest Turkey. Both projects aim at creating a ‘road map’ that lay out guidelines for the implementation of an archaeological heritage management plan. The ‘road map’ focuses on the documentation and preservation of archaeological sites with local collaboration for sustainable socio-economic benefits.

Işılay got her PhD in the Management and Development of Cultural Heritage program from the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca, Italy with a thesis titled "The role of public in public-private partnerships: reading the cultural heritage management practices of Turkey". She studied Tourism Administration at Boğaziçi University as a bachelor’s degree and made a master’s on Anatolian Civilizations and Cultural Heritage Management at Koç University. Before moving to Italy for her PHD, she worked as the museum outreach coordinator in Istanbul Archaeological Museums Development Project for a year from 2009 to 2010.

Her research interests include public archaeology, state in archaeology, management models in the field of cultural heritage, public understanding and interpretation of cultural heritage.


Belongs to;
Combined Projects
Community Outreach & Public Archaeology
Cultural Heritage Management
Studies & Research

View other research