Daphne’s tears dried out after heavy rain
HATAY – Anadolu AgencyThe Harbiye waterfalls in the southern Turkish province of Hatay have been badly damaged by a landslide that followed recent heavy rains in the area.
The waterfalls, which draw visitors especially in the summer months, were believed to be the tears of the water fairy Daphne in classical mythology and were a promenade for the rich in the Roman era.
The area is mentioned in mythology as the place where the god of light Apollo and the water fairy Daphne came together.
But now the waterfalls now lie in ruins after recent inclement weather.
Defne Mayor İbrahim Yaman said that if urgent measures are not taken, the Harbiye waterfalls would be destroyed forever.
Yaman added that the waterfalls were a famous archaeological site across the world and serious attention must urgently be paid to rehabilitating the area.
“The Harbiye waterfalls should welcome visitors from Turkey and the world. But the area has been neglected in recent years and has received serious damage from the weather. Hatay has seen very heavy rainfall, especially over the last year, and the damage has appeared slowly,” he said.
“This place should be rehabilitated and revived with a new project. But this project cannot be made by a single organization. All state departments should take responsibility for it. If urgent measures aren’t taken, the Harbiye waterfalls and basin will completely disappear,” Yaman added.
He particularly referred to recent landslides that have badly hit the area around the river basin, but vowed that his local administration would do its best to return the haven of Hatay to its former glory.
Harbiye in mythology
In classical mythology, Daphne meets Apollon while wandering around wilderness areas. Apollo falls in love with her and starts following her. Daphne cannot run and begs the goddess of earth to hide her.
When she is caught, she turns into a laurel tree and roots in the area of Harbiye waterfalls. Her skin turns into bark, her hair becomes leaves, and her arms are transformed into branches.
She stops running as her feet becomes rooted to the ground. Apollo embraces the branches, but even the branches shrink away from him. At that moment he cries: “Daphne! From now on you will be an unfading holy tree of Apollo. I promise that your leaves will decorate the heads of leaders as crowns, your leaves will also to be depicted on weapons.”
On these sweet words, Daphne greets Apollo and cries silently. It is believed that the Harbiye waterfalls are the tears of Daphne.