With a multicultural characteristic, Gilan is home of many Ottoman style architectural pieces. One of them is the Big Mosque (Büyük Cami), which is restored by TIKA -a Turkish governmental agency.
Juxtaposed to Big Mosque, there is Atik Mosque, an architectural masterpiece in UNESCO’s World Heritage List, was restored in 1994 but severely damaged by the earthquake in 2002 like the Big Mosque.
Gilan’s historical texture, from Romans to Ottomans, was badly damaged particularly during war times. Despite the restoration efforts, the earthquake in 2002 was another destructive factor for hundred year-old buildings.
“Most of the buildings in Gilan was damaged by the earthquake and we are still trying to restore them. Fortunately, we have completed some of the restoration works with the help of the Islamic Union and Muslim comunities in Gilan. We have also some information that TIKA, the Turkish governmental agency, is going to re-build it.” said Atik Mosque’s Imam Yonuz Leka.
The mosque couldn't be used for prayer but for the help of ordinary people of Gilan. There is also a madrasa, restored by TIKA, in the mosque’s yard. One hundred students have been studying religion and modern science there for some time.
The people of Gilan want to be continued the restoration works.
Although the restoration projects have provided some relief for historical buildings, there are many others waiting for help. Gilan, located 15-min far away from Doburçan, a Turkish populated village welcomed many thousands of tourists who wants to see some historical artifacts.
Gilan, known many historical places, has some other problems.
Located close to Macedonian and Serbian borders, its geopolitical importance fueled some discussions. One of them is about its name.
It is assumed that Gilan was founed in 1700s by a member of Ginay family, Mr Bahti Ginay, who migrated from Novo Birdo, center of Balkan region at that time. In Albanian language, the word Gilan (literally Gjilan) can be pronounced as ‘Cilan’ or ‘Cinovdan’ just like Serbs say. But in Ottoman archival records it turns into ‘Gülhan’ or ‘Külhan’.
Gilan also has an immigration problem. The local population constitutes only 20 per cent of the total. Immigrants from Kentte Kamenitsa, Novo Birdo, Presevo live in Gilan where nearly 2 thousand Turkic oriented people inhabited.
Mayor of Gilan, located at Kosovo's center between Montenegro and Kolak, Lütfü Haziri, says that Gilan is one of the largest cities of the country and has almost over 500 thousands inhabitants. “Gilan is an outstanding symbol for Kosovar.” added the Mayor.
To overcome all these problems Gilan needs some help for its restoration.
Gulay KRASNİC – KUZEY News Agency
Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ekim 2014, 09:42