Controversy over Mt Nemrut spreads
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Controversy is increasing over Mount Nemrut in the Turkish provinces of Adıyaman and Malatya.
Malatya wants to use the historic mountain as part of its tourism plan, but Malatya and Adıyaman have to share the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The fight over the mountain occurred because of transportation facilities. Malatya municipality wanted to ease tourists’ travels to the site. The municipality built new roads and new hotels to make the tourists’ visits easier. The road from Malatya to Mount Nemrut was reconstructed with new facilities.
But Adıyaman municipality also lays claim to Mount Nemrut and needs to catch up to Malatya to increase tourist traffic.
Speaking to Cihan News Agency, Malatya Gov. Ulvi Saran said it was a must for the municipality to build new roads to make transportation easier to Nemrut.
Nemrut is a 2,134-meter high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues were erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the first century B.C.
The mountain lies 40 km north of Kahta, near Adıyaman. In 62 B.C., King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built on the mountaintop a tomb-sanctuary flanked by huge statues (8-9 meters/26-30 feet high) of himself, two lions, two eagles and various Greek, Armenian and Iranian gods, such as Hercules-Vahagn, Zeus-Aramazd or Oromasdes (associated with the Irenic god Ahura Mazda), Tyche and Apollo-Mithras. These statues were once seated, with names of each god inscribed on them. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site.