Hotel construction causes controversy in Cappadocia
NEVŞEHİR - Anatolia News Agency
The buildings erected in Cappadocia region are unsightly, say officials. AA photoThe construction of a boutique hotel around Uçhisar Castle in the Cappadocian town of Uçhisar has drawn reactions from the public.
The castle has the largest fairy chimney – naturally-occurring ancient rock formations – in the region, and was added to UNESCO’s natural and cultural heritage list in 1985. However, the carving of the unique rocks around the castle as part of hotel construction project has become a source of controversy.
Cappadocia Guides Association (KARED) Deputy Chairman Aslan Özcan said that damage to the natural rock formations around Uçhisar Castle was causing concern among citizens, tourists and business-owners in the region.
“The scene here was very beautiful. People used to see this point when passing from the highway, but they have messed it up. We don’t know how they did it, but we are very sorry to see it,” he said.
Özcan said that not only were the rocks damaged, but also the concrete buildings erected on the site were unsightly. “Concrete should not be used, but they used it. The concrete will be covered with rock, but no such construction system exists … Everybody complains about these structures,” he said.
Reactions from around the world
Özcan said Cappadocia’s natural rock formations emerged thousands of years ago and should be preserved: “We have received reactions from all around the world. I am a tourist guide and we cannot explain to tourists in the region what has happened.”
The project coordinator of the hotel being constructed in the area, Sercan Soybaş, said the work was ongoing with the necessary approval of officials and that reactions were due to confusion between natural and urban sites. “This is something that some people misunderstand. We have the necessary permits and licenses to build in the urban area, but people think the project is taking place in the natural, protected regions and are reacting accordingly,” he said.