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Edinburgh heritage team to help restore sites in Turkey | Scotland

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Mardin is one of the world’s most ancient cities, dating back 4,000 yearsGetty Images

Heritage experts from Edinburgh have been awarded £1.2 million to help in the restoration of two cities ravaged by conflict in the Middle East.

The Scottish team will conserve and repair a memorial to Saint Behnam and work with local stonemasons and architects to develop plans to protect other vulnerable buildings in the ancient cities of Mardin and Diyarbakir.

Both cities are in southern Turkey, close to the Syrian and Iraqi borders, a region devastated by war for most of this century.

In November 2015, Tahir Elci, a prominent lawyer, spoke at the foot of a 500-year-old monument in Diyarbakir, which had been damaged by armed clashes, and made a plea for the protection of the city’s cultural heritage. He was killed during his speech.

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