Discoveries ongoing in Turkey's longest cave in Isparta
ISPARTA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotosA 12-person Romanian speleologists team, led by a Turk, is working on mapping in the southern province of Isparta’s Pınargözü cave, which is Turkey’s longest cave.
The team, headed by the Directorate of Natural Conservation and National Parks Cave Protection Branch Director Selim Erdoğan, are working under tough circumstances in the Pınargözü Cave, the length of which has been a matter of debate for many years.
As the water in the cave lowers at a certain time of the year, the team can only work in August, but even then it has to fight against 40-meter waterfalls and high water discharge.
Wearing five-centimeter special suits as protection against the cold water, members of the team enter the cave in different groups and work there for four days. After traveling for nine hours on an installed line, another group then enters the cave for the next four days.
This year the works have so far reached 10.5 kilometers into the cave. A French team that previously worked in the cave said the length of the Pınargözü cave was 16 kilometers, but could not prove it, Erdoğan said.
He said most of the current work had been completed and the project would be finished next year with remaining works outside the main line.
“We will dedicate this project to Temuçin Aygen, considered the master of speleologists,” Erdoğan said.
The head of the Directorate of Natural Conservation and National Parks of Sensitive Areas, Ramazan Dikyar, said they were working to preserve Turkey’s natural and cultural sources.
Dikyar said they had created special zones to take those sources under protection. “Turkey has 40 national parks, 212 natural parks, 31 natural protection environment and 103 nature monuments,” he said.
The Pınargözü cave is among the natural sources that should be taken into protection, Dikyar said, adding that the cave located in the Kızıldağ National Park was Turkey’s longest cave. He said the first scientific surface survey in the Pınargözü cave was initiated back in 1967 by Aygen, who discovered many caves across Turkey.
“In 1974 Polish speleologists and in 1988 and in 1992 French speleologists carried out works in the cave. The French speleologists mapped their work in 2011 and claimed that the length of the cave was 16 kilometers but it could not be proved. So this has been a matter of debate since then. This is why the Directorate of Natural Conservation and National Parks made a project in 2011 to find out the exact length of the cave and also to understand the structure of it,” he stated.