Dedegöl mountain in Turkey’s Isparta faces danger after marble quarry plans
ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
The Dedegöl mountain range and Kuzukulağı plain in the western province of Isparta’s Eldere village, which offer rock climbing and hiking adventures in an alpine setting, are in danger following authorities’ decision to grant a marble exploration license in the area.
An academic from Akdeniz University in the southern province of Antalya said an “environmental disaster” was awaiting the area, with tens of heavy construction equipment set to be allocated to the region for marble search activities.
Yılmaz Sevgül, an academic at the Institute of the Sports Sciences at Akdeniz University and a supervisor of the non-profit Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) for the Antalya province, told Doğan News Agency that the rock formations in the Dedegöl mountain range were as “valuable” as El Capitan, which is one of the world’s largest granite monoliths above Yosemite Valley in California in the United States.
Sevgül said a group of environmentalists had presented a report to the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry, calling on authorities to consider the area as a “national park.” But the demand was denied.
“We do not know for what reasons the ministry has denied it … But we know that a license for the establishment of a marble quarry was given at the Dedegöl Mountain and Kuzukulağı Plain. A national value that is very important for eco-tourism and addresses the whole world, will unfortunately disappear in 20 years,” he said.
Along with Sevgül, many other mountaineers have also expressed their concern over the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry opening the area for establishment of a marble quarry, labeling the event as an “irreversible mistake,” especially for Turkish tourism.
Sevgül has called on the authorities once again to revoke the license, calling the incident as an “environmental massacre.” “This is really a national value. A value that our country would benefit from economically should not be destroyed. This mistake should be corrected. Many, especially mountaineers, have initiated a signature campaign regarding the issue. We do not want to go there and take banners and initiate a protest,” he also said.
The academic said a group of mountaineers, including himself, had opened the first rock climbing routes in the Dedegöl mountain range in 1993.
“Together with the deceased mountaineer Uğur Uluocak, we have climbed for three days and opened routes stretching along a crag of 250 and 500 meters. Later, we have shared the region with the whole mountaineering community,” Sevgül said.