MARMARİS - The director of the Marmaris Museum, Associate Professor Neşe Kırdemir, has been appointed as the new director of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology, one of the most popular underwater archaeological museums in the world.

This is the first time a female director has been appointed to head a significant museum by the General Directorate of Monuments and Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism that administers and operates all the museums in Turkey.

Making an important contribution to the development of the Marmaris Museum over the last five years, Neşe Kırdemir managed to get permission to re-open the museum after it was closed many years ago due to a theft resulting from a lack of security.

Having a work-style that coheres with local administrators, she supplied all the necessary support in order to create an archaeological park in the middle of the city. She excavated a 300,000-year-old cave in the city that opened to tourists in 2008. She also followed the excavation of the 2,600-year-old Knidos ruins in Datça and reported that it was being conducted inappropriately, which led to the excavation team being taken to court. After her report was released, Kırdemir worked hard to register all the findings from Knidos in a short amount of time.

'Living museum' concept
Appointing the archaeologist to this position, authorities in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism expect Kırdemir to succeed in this difficult job and to increase the popularity of this world famous museum, currently not at the level of its old days.

The Bodrum Castle officially became a museum in 1961 and Haluk Elbe was its first director. The first collection of objects retrieved from the depths was stored and exhibited in 1959 in the Knights' Hall, which today houses the Carian princess exhibit. This embryo of the Bodrum Museum included amphorae brought by Bodrum sponge-divers and objects recovered during exploratory dives made by Peter Throckmorton, Mustafa Kapkin and Honor Frost in 1958, the year when those pioneers planted the first seeds of scientific nautical archeology.

When the Bodrum Castle was designated as a museum it was little more than a romantic ruin. The director, Mr. Oğuz Alpözen, before his retirement in July 2005, implemented the "living museum" concept and the museum attracted thousands visitors.