Nearly 95% of renovation works in Kirkuk’s oldest popular market, the Qaysariya Bazaar, are complete, and is expected to be reopened by the end of next month.
On November 26, 2018, the Qaysariya bazaar caught fire which tor through at least 220 shops.
Back then, Turkish ambassador to Iraq Fatih Yildiz had declared during a visit to Kirkuk that Turkish TEKA company will undertake the restoration of the market.
Abdulqadir Jarah, a technical supervisor at TEKA, speaking to KirkukNow, said, “Following the incident, the Turkish government undertook the renovation of the Qaysariya. The project has been underway for six months,” adding that “the project is now 95% complete.”
Earlier the Turkish company said restoration work would take two months.
Bazaar reopening date
According to Abdulqadir Jarah, the bazaar has been equipped with up-to-date services, including central air-conditioning, satellite and internet network as well as security cameras.
He indicated that the project is near completion and expected the shops to be handed over to their owners by the end of next month.
The history of Qaysariyah dates back to 160 years ago. The bazaar was built by the Ottomans on an area of 2,000 square meters.
The popular market is comprised of 232 shops and has 7 main gates.
Shopkeepers have demands
Haqi Isma’il, a representative of Qaysariya shopkeepers said they have submitted a range of demands to the bazzar’s supervisors.
“We submitted a request to the directorate of archaeology to ensure that shop owners be exempted from paying rent and rates for 2 years,” he told KirkukNow.
Ayad Tariq, head of Kirkuk’s directorate of archaeology said they did not have the authority to exempt shopkeepers from any obligations; however he said the directorate would” deliver their demands to the Iraqi ministry of culture.”
The Qaysariya devastating fire incident caused an estimated 3 billion Iraqi dinars in damages. No compensations were offered to affected shopkeepers.