Provinces squabble over tourist facility in Nemrut
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
The ministry’s decision to organize a tourist infrastructure surrounding Mount Nemrut pleased Malatya deputies but incensed their counterparts in Adıyaman. Hürriyet photoOne of Turkey’s prime tourist sites, eastern Anatolia’s Mt. Nemrut, is becoming a source of increasing contention as the adjacent provinces of Malatya and Adıyaman are divided about how to best organize the tourist infrastructure surrounding the site.
“Nemrut is identified as an Adıyaman brand but Malatya is more appropriate in terms of transportation,” Natural Protection and National Parks Deputy General Director Ahmet Özyanık told daily Vatan on Jan. 3. “People will come from Malatya and leave from Adıyaman. Now there is a problem of roads. Road construction is necessary between Nemrut’s Malatya boundary and … Adıyaman.”
The Ministry of Forestry and Waterworks decided last week to develop tourism on the Malatya side of the boundary, Özyanık said, adding that new and luxurious hotels would consequently be constructed in Malatya.
“Tourists will reach the region in an hour from the airport. This new tourism center will be attractive for tourists. There is an airport in Adıyaman but it is not active. People need to walk to the mountain,” he said.
“Since the hotels region and the top of the mountain are very close [on the Malatya side], more tourists will come and Malatya’s tourism will be revived,” the director said.
The ministry’s decision has pleased Malatya deputies but incensed their counterparts from Adıyaman.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Adıyaman deputy Salih Fırat said the ministry had made the wrong decision. “The ministry should have prevented the decision. Of course, Malatya’s people will ask for it because they will get tourism income but it will harm Adıyaman. Those who want to visit Mt. Nemrut can go there through Adıyaman. There is no need for Malatya.”
CHP Malatya deputy Veli Ağbaba, however, said the decision was very positive. “Nemrut is the common heritage of the world, not just of Adıyaman. It can contribute to the development of both provinces. Transportation is easier in Malatya. In this way, Nemrut will receive more tourists.”
Mt. Nemrut is notable for its collection of massive stone heads that were erected in the first century B.C.