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|27/7/2010 - Article about FIRESENSE in Turkish newspaper "Hurriyet"|
Early-warning system installed to protect ancient Turkish cities
Early-warning systems and infrared cameras have been installed in the ancient Mediterranean city of Rhodiapolis to protect the site and local historical artifacts from earthquakes, floods and fires, the Anatolia news agency reported Sunday.
The European Union has granted 2 million euros to the project, which is being developed in the Kumluca district of Antalya in conjunction with Bilkent University.
“Thanks to the cameras and sensors, ancient cities will be protected with infrared and remotely controlled early-warning systems that consist of monitoring stations,” said Professor Enis Çetin from the university’s electrical engineering department, who carried out the preliminary technical and scientific studies in Turkey for the project.
“Because of this project, smoke and forest fires will be detected early. When floods and fires advance, this system will accelerate the decision-making process,” Çetin added. “With the support we got from the EU we will protect the ancient city of Rhodiapolis from fires and floods.”
The system will not only prevent fire damage but also illegal excavation works because the ancient city will be under 24-hour surveillance, said İsa Kızgut, the head of the Ancient Cities Committee and a member of the archaeology department at Akdeniz University.
Similar projects are also being installed at sites in Greece, Italy and Tunisia. In addition, 10 different organizations from Belgium, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands and Tunisia will also carry out feasibility studies on implementing such measures.
Cameras have been installed at Rhodiapolis excavation sites and in a school that overlooks the ancient city, Çetin said, adding that the protection efforts also benefit from cameras installed by the Forestry Directorate in the Erentepe and Ertaş fire towers. “If there is smoke, or a fire, the alarm system will be tripped and will inform the Forestry Directorate,” the professor explained. “In the next stages of the project, heat and motion sensors will be installed in the area and interconnected with the video systems.”
Çetin said the long-term project was similar to the former forest-fire detection and monitoring system and seeks to prevent the type of great damage forest fires have done to ancient cities in the past.