Historic cave to be opened to visitors in Ankara

Historic cave to be opened to visitors in Ankara

ANKARA - Demirören News Agency
Historic cave to be opened to visitors in Ankara

A cave in which Hüseyin Gazi, the father of the Turkish epic hero, Battal Gazi, once lived will be opened to tourism following an order by the president.

Hosting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to the cemevi, Ali Ayyıldız, the head of the Hüseyin Gazi Culture and Art Foundation, said that he requested the Hüseyin Gazi Cave, located in the military area in the capital Ankara’s Mamak district, to be opened to visitors.

Erdoğan, who paid a visit to the cemevi, an Alevi house of worship, after five different attacks on Alevi institutions in Ankara, ordered the opening of the cave, which is located near Hüseyin Gazi Tomb and Hüseyin Gazi Mountain.

Reiterating that Hüseyin Gazi, the father of the quasi-historical epic hero Battal Gazi, lived in the cave for a while, Ayyıldız said, “People who come to visit the tomb also want to see the cave as a water stream flows through it for eight months a year. However, it is not allowed because it is located in a military area.”

“I demanded from the president that this place be removed from the status of a military zone and be allocated to us,” Ayyıldız said, adding that the cave is important for faith tourism, as the Alevi community has respect for Hüseyin Gazi.

The president had a talk with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, giving instructions to them to start work on this issue, according to Ayyıldız.

He also pointed out that under the coordination of the ministries, all cemevis and Alevi associations throughout Türkiye are visited and that their demands from the government are received and compiled into reports.

Erdoğan attended the Muharram iftar with the representatives of the Alevi community at Hüseyin Gazi Cemevi in Ankara late on Aug. 8.